FORUM Sexuality Education and Family Planning
Sexuality education international
This edition of FORUM deals with concepts of sexuality education and their implementation in European countries: authors from Finland, Estonia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany tell us who is developing sexuality concepts relevant to the entire country, which institutions are responsible for their implementation and how sexuality education is conducted in schools.
Some of the articles express the great satisfaction felt by the authors about the successes achieved, demonstrated by improvements in the statistics related to contraceptive behaviour and teenage pregnancy, while others highlight the social resistance to holistic sexuality education, citing misunderstandings, fears of “sexualization” of children and lack of knowledge about the clear and scientifically proven body of data in favour of early, comprehensive sexuality education.
These accounts include approaches and planned measures to overcome this still unsatisfactory situation, with interesting ideas for other countries suffering similar problems.
Only a few countries are described here: Finland by Dan Apter, Estonia by Kai Part, the Netherlands by Sanderijn van der Doef, England by Lucy Emmerson, Spain by Felipe Hurtado Murillo and María Pérez Conchillo and Germany by Uwe Sielert. But it is precisely the considerable differences evident even in this small selection which show how heterogeneous the European Region seems to be in respect of sexuality education and the further great efforts which will be required if we are to guarantee the sexual rights and health of all young people in Europe.
In her article, Doortje Braeken of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) describes “It’s All One Curriculum”, which places gender issues and human rights at the centre of sexuality and HIV education and is relevant to the entire world.
Finally, Christine Winkelmann describes how and why the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe, working with many European experts, developed the Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe, what is in the Standards and how you can work with them.
The significance and degree of acceptance of the Standards, which were published in 2010, is shown by the fact that all the authors featured here speak positively about them in their articles.