Principles Sexual Education

1. Basics

Every human being pursues happiness. This is a basic need. In particular, a person’s sexuality can be a source of great joy - but often enough also of great unhappiness. Hence, educating young people toward the development of a self-determined, mature and responsible handling of one's own and others' sexuality is absolutely necessary. For the large majority of young people, a stable relationship between a man and a woman and their children is essential to their idea of a happy life. They should be encouraged in this yearning, even if their present family situation is possibly different (a patchwork family, divorce situation, single parent etc.). They should be strengthened in their ability to find fulfilment as a man or a woman and to make their own decisions concerning their future.

It is important to take into consideration that human beings and their sexuality are tied into a particular order of existence. There are life principles and experiences that all humans have in common. These can be recognized and communicated reasonably. It is evident that they cannot be arbitrarily altered and are objective principles across cultures and belief systems.

Sexuality involves the whole person. It has physical, emotional, cognitive, social, cultural and spiritual dimensions. Sexual development is part of maturation in the identity of each individual and is essential for growth of competency in relationships. Different from that of animals, human sexuality can't be reduced to a series of physical drives and their satisfaction. As a vital force in the development of personality, it is simultaneously a gift and a challenge; a challenge insofar as the handling of sexuality and the consequences of sexual behaviour include a call to responsibility. Persons express their whole self in sexuality. As nonverbal communication, it is also prone to disturbances and can be misunderstood. In order to contribute to a happy life, its principles need to be considered and sexuality needs to be learned as a language of love.

It is important as a first step to convey to children and youth a positive and holistic approach toward sexuality so that they can develop a natural attitude toward it without any fear. It should be understood as a basic life force that needs cultivating. Additionally, the dangers in the area of sexuality need to be explained to young people.

An essential task in young people’s development is the integration of sexuality into their whole personality in the context of the pervading social and cultural environment. When this is successful, it serves as an important basis for respectful dealings with self and others.  For this reason, children and youth need education and fostering that take their whole personal development into consideration. Reduction to a purely technical or biological sex education does not suffice.

Since sexual development needs (positive) formation, sex education is primarily the right and the duty of parents. The family is the most important learning-ground for a healthy sexual development. School has the task of supporting parents in their responsibility.