Bananas and condoms

By Jang KapgenLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

Schools are tasked with preparing a new generation of young adults for the world. However, sexuality, a topic that accompanies everyone throughout their lives, does not seem to be an important part of this education. A closer look at sex education in schools reveals the gaps in the system – to the dissatisfaction of students.

"The only experience with sexuality I had was due to the boys who secretly watched porn during break times", 18-year-old student Zohra Barthelemy remembers primary school. When she was finally supposed to have sex education in sixth grade, she was given a letter for her parents to ask for permission to cover the topic in class. "My parents never saw the note because there was no way I wanted them to know we were talking about sex", the high school graduate explains. Zohra associates school sex education with a lot of shame and secrecy. She laughs when she thinks back to sixth grade when girls and boys were separated and the girls only talked about the female body – the other sex remained hidden behind shame and insecurity.

The Sex Taboo

Today this is somewhat different. Sex education is compulsory both in sixth grade in primary school and the "7iéme", "5ième" and "3ième" levels of the high school biology course. Topics related to sexual organs, pregnancy, hormones and contraceptives are a particular focus. Depending on the main subjects, sexuality is also found in higher grades. However, the current curriculum has many weaknesses, as it focuses almost exclusively on anatomy – weaknesses that affect Zohra and many other students. However, there is more to profound sex education than anatomy, as the Luxembourgish sex educator, Kelly Kosel confirms. "It's about presenting sexual diversity so that people can make the right choices", she says. Themes ranging from LGBT+ identities to sexualised violence can be included to teach teenagers how to deal with their bodies and sexuality safely and positively.

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