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Inappropriate sex education in Switzerland for 12-year-olds 

A brochure on sexuality for schools supported by Bern is far too explicit, some conservative parliamentarians complained.

Published: June 19, 2022, 9:09 am


    The brochure is called “Hey You”, was written by the foundation “Sexual Health Switzerland” and is being debated in the Federal Palace. The foundation, which receives about CHF 800 000 from the federal government out of its total budget of CHF 1,2 million, is said by some parliamentarians to be far too explicit in the booklet.

    Swiss politician Verena Herzog warned against grooming young children. Wikipedia

    This is why National Councillor Verena Herzog (SVP/TG) will be tabling an intervention in which she will demand that the Federal Council take a stand.

    “This brochure on sexuality is simply exaggerated,” said the right-wing politician. “Children as young as 12 are already confronted with various sex games, practices or the suggestion of having several ‘sex friends’ (people with whom one only has sexual and not emotional relations).” The Thurgau native does not want this text to be spread in schools.

    ‘Absolute overload’

    The almost 60-page brochure provides information on topics such as feelings, the body, relationships, contraception, pregnancy or STDs. But it also gives advice on the use of sex toys: “It is important that you clean the toys before and after sex with a suitable disinfectant or use a condom.” The booklet goes on to list the existence of dildos, vibrators and anal plugs.

    Verena Herzog – who stressed that she found general information pertaining to youth development important – expressed serious reservations about especially this part of the brochure: “Some people don’t feel comfortable with the sex they were assigned at birth. Is this the case for you? Then you may be a trans person.” According to Verena Herzog, this is an “absolute overload”.

    ‘Very advanced’ youngsters

    Socialist National Councillor Yvonne Feri is a member of the board of trustees of “Sexual Health Switzerland”. In her view, the criticism is absurd: “Today, 12-year-olds are very advanced. Young people everywhere are confronted with sexualised expressions. That is why it is extremely important to provide information at an early age.

    National Councillor Verena Herzog is a keen advocate of the fight against inappropriate sex education. In 2015, she argued for its abolition in primary schools. Last year, she protested against a campaign by Sexual Health Switzerland that dealt with the topic of masturbation.

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