The benefits of starting sex education early

How do we decide when, what, and how, we teach healthy sexuality? Do we go with the often dominant message of silence is best? Do we let numbers like those in this article speak?

Quick excerpt…
How the Dutch Do Sex Ed
In the Netherlands, one of the world’s most gender-equal countries, kids learn about sex and bodies starting at age 4.
Over the past 30 years, more and more American sex-ed classrooms have shifted toward abstinence-only messages and away from more effective curriculums. Yet, over that same time period, Dutch sex education—in classrooms, but also in public spaces like Nemo—has gotten progressively more comprehensive, and the Netherlands now outperforms most countries on various global metrics for sexual-health outcomes.

This news article looks at the authors research into sex education programs (and subtly markets her book Beyond the Birds and the Bees). She compares the Dutch model((research cited from here: and the American model showing age of first sex is similar but outcomes for variables like STD’s, teen pregnancies, and abortions showing better for the Dutch model. Additionally,

“Sexually active young people in Holland sleep around less, communicate more often with their partners about their likes and dislikes, and report higher rates of sexual satisfaction.”

She also points out the difference in how gender and issues of sexual power like abuse, tolerance, and assertiveness play an important role in the Dutch model.

While she supports Dutch curriculum like Kriebels in je buik (Butterflies in Your Stomach), some of the effect seen is not just curriculum taught, but a cultural approach to sexuality the Dutch have. Unfortunately, many times the Church has not fostered a healthy view of gender, sexual power, or of the beauty of our bodies and sexuality.

Some good points in this article that can help us as we talk to parents about teaching their kids.


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