Sexuality education in Dutch schools needs to be better. Much better. That is what young people, teachers and educational organisations think. Today, young people present the Dutch government representatives Mariëtte Hamer (Government Commissioner for sexually transgressive behaviour) and Dennis Wiersma (Minister for Primary and Secondary Education) the Manifesto for Better Sexuality Education. The manifesto is an initiative of Rutgers together with 37 youth and civil society organisations.
Marieke van der Plas (Rutgers Executive Director) explains why it is time for a manifesto:
“Young people rate their sexual education with a 5.8, a meagre six out of ten. That really needs to change. The manifesto sets out how we can make this happen together.”
What can the Dutch government do to improve sexuality education for all young people?
Marieke van der Plas: “Young people want to receive more extensive and diverse information. They want to deal with the pleasure, social and relational aspects of sexuality in addition to the biological aspects. More attention should be paid to sexual, gender and sexual diversity, sexuality in the media, consent and recognising and respecting wishes and boundaries. Something that is especially important given recent events around sexual transgressive behaviour in the Netherlands.”
Sexuality education should be mandatory in higher school levels and vocational colleges
Besides the content, sexuality education should become mandatory for all age groups. Young people indicate that they need lessons on sexuality and diversity in their final years of school and vocational colleges as well.
In the manifesto, Rutgers, together with youth and interest groups, set out what better sexuality education should look like and what recommendations they give to the Dutch government.
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