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In fact, the term for what’s being taught here is sexuality education rather than sex education.
That’s because the goal is bigger than that, says Ineke van der Vlugt, an expert on youth sexual development for Rutgers WPF, the Dutch sexuality research institute behind the curriculum.
But there’s also a growing body of research that specifically credits comprehensive sexuality education.
A recent study from Georgetown University shows that starting sex ed in primary school helps avoid unintended pregnancies, maternal deaths, unsafe abortions and STDs.
It’s about having open, honest conversations about love and relationships.
By law, all primary school students in the Netherlands must receive some form of sexuality education.
But it must address certain core principles — among them, sexual diversity and sexual assertiveness.
“There were societal concerns that sexualization in the media could be having a negative impact on kids,” van der Vlugt said.
“We wanted to show that sexuality also has to do with respect, intimacy, and safety.” Beyond risk prevention The Dutch approach to sex ed has garnered international attention, largely because the Netherlands boasts some of the best outcomes when it comes to teen sexual health.
” Anniek Pheifer asks a crowd of Dutch elementary school students. Jan de Doper elementary school gym is decked in heart-shaped balloons and streamers. Welcome to “Spring Fever” week in primary schools across the Netherlands, the week of focused sex ed classes… 11-year-olds discuss sexual orientation and contraceptive options.
Pheifer and Pepijn Gunneweg are hosts of a kids television program in the Netherlands, and they’re performing a song about having a crush. But in the Netherlands, the approach, known as “comprehensive sex education,” starts as early as age 4.