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Feature Sexual health

Could Dutch style sex education reduce pregnancies among UK teenagers?

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 05 January 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:j5930

Re: Could Dutch style sex education reduce pregnancies among UK teenagers?

The media and all forms of communications abound with provocative materials related to sex and sexuality. With internet access to pornography and limited restriction youngsters are exposed to unhealthy sexual attitudes. Teaching them with right information, answering their questions with straight answers and teaching them how and when to say NO will prepare young minds to cope with their emotional and hormonal surges. Dutch style curriculum involves children aged 4-5 discussing feelings, being a boy versus a girl, etc. At the age of 7, sessions include discussing respect and attraction, and at the age of 8-9 same sex attractions. By the age of 10-11, topics include changes during puberty, love and dating, and men and women in the media.

The Dutch style sex education may help promote better understanding of human sexuality as well as educate youngsters with the right kind of information.

With an alcohol and drug culture, sex becomes the ultimate victim, and adolescents and youngsters fall for sexual temptation. Sex education may prepare them to face such situations without a shock or falling easy prey to the demands of physical attraction.

Yet it requires strong family values and good parenting to guide them to flow through the period of adolescence with minimal emotional and physical trauma. It will teach abstinence is the best form of sex education until they are ready for active sex.

Competing interests: No competing interests

10 January 2018
Independent consultant and Faculty of Medicine