Positive and inclusive sex education in Dutch secondary schools

The Netherlands are internationally known for the relatively good sexual health of young people, to which high quality sex education in schools would contribute. Yet in 2023, there are concerns about the quality of sex education in the Netherlands. Young people have indicated that they are not satisfied with the sex education they receive. Sex education in many schools is one-off and focused primarily on risk prevention, while young people, both in the lower and upper grades, want more attention for topics such as sexual pleasure, respect, consent, gender equality and LGBTI+ diversity.

In positive and inclusive sex education, the abovementioned topics are addressed and students are supported in an age-appropriate way in their relational and sexual development. While research suggests that this type of sex education contributes to young people‚Äôs sexual health more so than the risk-based approach, there is a societal backlash: misconceptions exist and schools are confronted with resistance from students and/or parents.  

Based on mixed-method research, this report (in Dutch) describes teachers' perspectives regarding the delivery of positive and inclusive sex education. How do teachers define positive and inclusive sex education? To what extent do they have the knowledge, attitudes and skills that are central to positive and inclusive sex education? What do they perceive as barriers and what are their best practices? Special attention is thereby paid to teaching in a culturally diverse classroom and to ways how teachers deal with resistance.

Involved researchers

Funding

This project is funded by 'Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Seksualiteit (FWOS)'