12 december, 2013

Sexuality education – global and local barriers and opportunities

Despite the crucial element of sexuality education to increase general public health and ensure actual implementation of human rights for all, it is a tremendously controversial topic in many countries around the world. In many cases, the discussions around sex, sexuality and the education of it, are infected by conventional wisdom, traditional believes and society’s norms. Whether sexuality education should exist at all is an opinion often tainted by internal political agendas, historical bonds between nations and religious dominance in the society.

The rationale for sexuality education is manifold. In some developed countries sexuality education is part of the national curriculum and should thus be integrated in formal schooling. Sweden is a prime example of such country where sexuality education is mandatory, the discourse around sex is widely open in society and access to information, clinics and contraceptives is impeccable. Despite this, teachers colleges most often lack in training their students, and thus the quality of sexuality education in schools are highly varied depending on the individual teacher. As a result, sex and sexuality are still often suppressed in society by taboos and stigmas.