Principles Sexual Education
3. Quality standards of sex education
Sex education should be appropriate for the young person’s age, maturity and the personal stage of development. Hence, sex education should be geared to each young person’s individual developmental and psychological stage. Perimeters of this stage should not be crossed.
- Sex education takes children and youth seriously as unique personalities and gives them room to speak about their questions, fears and expectations. There needs to be room for emotions to be expressed, as well as space where values may actively be questioned and worked through.
Good sex education works in a holistic manner. Beyond the topics of the physical and psychological changes that occur, it also addresses the following themes: emotions, the role of the reasoning faculties, the meaning of decisions, the formation of friendships and the influence of the socio-cultural environment. Of key importance is the fostering of the ability to take responsibility for oneself and others.
Natural feelings of shame should be respected and considered during the choice of educational contents and materials. Sex education is not the place for the theme of sexual experimentation.
During puberty opportunities should be offered for strengthening girls and boys in their sexual identity and in their self-worth. In this context, when talking about subjects specific to girls or boys, it makes sense to initially meet and reflect in separate groups. On the basis of a greater understanding of one’s own sex a new understanding of the other sex is made possible, which consequently helps mixed coeducational classes be even more constructive.
- For subjects referring to one specific sex, boys should be, predominately, accompanied and taught by men and girls by women.
Young people need sufficient time and educational opportunities suited to their age and development to work through the many aspects of sexuality in order to form well-founded viewpoints.
The contents should be presented and worked through in an interactive manner. When young people develop their own viewpoints and their own well
thought through decisions, these then have a strong influence on the individual’s continuing development and personal growth.
Standards of training
- Teachers of sexual education need an interdisciplinary training that imparts the contents of the biological, psychological, ethical, pedagogical-didactic and spiritual aspects.
- The teacher training also contains biographical work about one's own sexual development. Sexual education teachers need to be mature personalities who can correctly assess the appropriate requisites of closeness and distance, and respect them, and who treat their students with respect and encourage them in finding their own opinions.
- Mentoring, supervision and regular advanced training ensure the quality of the work.
- Pedagogical concepts for sexual education must be developed in cooperation with both men and women and should be scientifically up-to-date. For this reason, research should be made in the fields of sexual development and pedagogy for sex education.
- Pedagogical training and concepts for sexual education teachers should be regularly evaluated.