Teachers believe that in secondary education too little attention is paid to relational and sex education, especially in the upper years. They are also dissatisfied with the topics that are being discussed, say the Rutgers expertise center for sexuality and Soa Aids Nederland.
These organizations had two polls done at the end of last year, before the BOOS broadcast last month about sexually transgressive behavior on The Voice of Holland . Since those revelations, the theme has again been prominent on the agenda in various sectors .
In the first poll, 400 teachers from secondary education were questioned. 55 percent thought that more time should be set aside for sex education. 72 percent thought that sex education should not only be compulsory in the lower secondary education, but also in the upper secondary education.
That is not the case now. For lower secondary education, the government has established that students must learn how to deal respectfully with sexuality and diversity within society, including sexual diversity.
In a second poll, among 213 school leaders and 550 subject teachers (mainly society and biology), 22 percent answered that schools pay too little attention to sexual pleasure and 36 percent that there is too little attention for mutual consent when having sex. 46 percent want more attention for sexually transgressive behavior and 57 percent more attention for safety in relation to sex and the internet.
According to Luc Lauwers of Rutgers, how this is dealt with differs per school. “There are also schools that pay a lot of attention to sex education, but it is often the case that this theme is now treated in biology. Then the focus is, in itself also logical, on the physical aspects of sex and sexuality.”
Lauwers emphasizes in the NOS Radio 1 Journaal that these are important themes. “But how we are structured as a society and how we want to interact with each other are just as important – and so do teachers.”
Attention in the superstructure
Rutgers and Soa Aids Nederland call on the cabinet to give sexuality education a structural place in secondary education. This is now mandatory in the substructure. In the upper years this does not have to be part of the curriculum. “That is precisely the period in which most young people become sexually active,” says Lauwers. “If you teach structurally on those themes, you also learn to talk about those themes. Then you learn that certain things are not crazy at all; that everyone struggles with that. Then you can practice how to indicate boundaries and discover what you can and cannot do. doesn’t like.”
It is high time that sexuality education with concrete mandatory core objectives is elaborated in the new curriculum, conclude Rutgers and Soa Aids Nederland. According to both organizations, only then can a new generation grow up “with an understanding of diversity and respect for each other’s boundaries and wishes”.
From April, a committee of teachers and experts will examine the renewal of, among other things, social studies and biology in the superstructure. The Ministry of Education says that it is up to that committee whether and how sex education is included in it.
Both organizations have declared this week, with Valentine’s Day today, the Week of Love. They help schools organize lessons about love and sexuality. This year the theme is “love for yourself.”