“People often think that we immediately (with toddlers) start talking about sexual intercourse. Sexuality is so much more than that. It is also about your self-image, developing your own identity, gender roles and learning how to express yourself, make your wishes known and set your boundaries.” – Ineke van der Vlugt of the Rutgers Foundation – the Dutch research institute and organization behind education about sexuality – expert in the field of sexual development in young people.
Did you know that the Netherlands has the lowest number of teenage pregnancies in the world? And did you know that the majority of Dutch teens say their first sexual experiences were ‘desired’ and ‘pleasant’? “It may be because it is prescribed by law that all Dutch primary school pupils are given a certain form of ‘sex education’. So no sex lessons; the idea behind ‘sex education’ is much broader than just sex,” according to Van der Vlugt. This is about having open and sincere conversations about relationships and love.
A 2008 US report found that comprehensive sex education “helps young people explore their ‘attitudes and values’, make decisions, and train the skills needed to make informed choices when practicing a sexual activity. sexual life.” ( source ).
According to the report, which was compiled by PBS news:
“This system allows for flexibility in the way it is taught. However, it should include certain basic principles – such as sexual diversity and sexual assertiveness. This means encouraging respect for all sexual preferences and assistance in developing skills that protect students from sexual coercion, harassment and abuse. The rationale behind this is simple: Sexual development is a normal process that all young people experience and they are entitled to candid, reliable information on this subject.” ( source ).
The results of this form of education speak for themselves. When it comes to the average sexual health of teenagers, Dutch teenagers hardly have sex at a young age compared to other European countries and the United States. Also in the Netherlands – as mentioned earlier – sexual encounters between teenagers are ‘desirable’ and ‘pleasant’, while in the United States 66 percent of the interviewed sexually active teenagers wished they had waited longer before the first time.
Another study found that about 90 percent of Dutch teenagers use some form of protection during sexual contact. Teenage pregnancies are rare in the Netherlands, as are HIV infections and sexually transmitted diseases. ( source )
A fairly recent study from Georgetown University shows that unwanted pregnancies, maternal deaths and venereal diseases are much less common because sex education is started in primary school. ( source ).
In the video mentioned below, the teacher asks the class:
“Why are they cuddling?”
“Because they love each other,” a girl replies.
The teacher then asks them to think about who they like best. A number of children call their father or mother. One girl calls her little sister. A few mention other children at their school.
The teacher asks, “How does it feel when that person hugs you?”
“Then I feel warm inside,” a boy replies. “It’s like butterflies fluttering in my stomach.”
“Classes like these are designed to get kids thinking and talking about intimacy that feels good and intimacy that doesn’t feel right. Other classes focus on physical awareness. For example, the students draw boys and girls bodies, talk about friends taking a bath together and talk about the likes and dislikes about it. By the age of seven, students are expected to be able to name body parts, including the genitals. They also learn about different types of family composition, what it means to be a good friend and how a baby grows in a woman’s womb.” ( source ).
The negative influence of sex in the media.
There was great public concern that the sexualization of the media could have a negative effect on children. We wanted to show that sexuality also has to do with respect, intimacy and safety.” – Ineke van der Vlugt.
What is shown by the media today is downright perverse and too crazy for words. Whether it concerns half-disrobed, almost or completely naked bodies, or disturbing performances; our idea of sexuality in general is completely programmed into our minds. The fact is that children in their purity and innocence are extremely susceptible to this type of programming (which I believe is done consciously)
We are taught how to think, what to do, how to live life, including all aspects of it, including our perception of sex and love.
And then we also have porn, which is now the main part. Porn websites have the most traffic in the world. This is most certainly a major issue that can be debated endlessly.
“In the United States, adults tend to see young people as walking hormone bombs. There is a strong belief in the Netherlands that young people can relate to love and relationships.” – Amy Schalet, American sociologist, raised in the Netherlands and currently studying cultural attitudes towards adult sexuality , with a focus on these two countries. ( source ).