• Switzerland edition
 
'Sex box' to get new name as parents revolt

'Sex box' to get new name as parents revolt

Published: 15 Aug 2011 15:42 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Aug 2011 15:42 GMT+02:00

Officials in Basel have agreed to rename the "sex box" after receiving some 3,000 letters of protest from parents angered by the controversial trove of wooden penises and fabric vaginas set to be used in a new sex education programme for playschool and primary school kids.

Christoph Eymann, Basel education minister and member of the liberal democrat party (LDP),  responded to parent's protests in an interview with SonntagsBlick.    

“It was no doubt stupid to call it a ’sex box’ – we will change that. But we will stick to our goal: to get across to children that sexuality is something natural. Without forcing anything upon them or taking anything away from their parents,“ he said.

Many parents say they do not understand why sex education needs to be taught to children as young as four.

There are usually two reasons why sexuality becomes a topic in kindergarten: either the teacher is pregnant or one of the children will soon get a new sister or brother. In such cases, it is correct that the teacher can respond“, Eymann told SonntagsBlick.

Eymann said he understood that one line in the programme, “touching can be enjoyed heartily“, could be misconstrued, but insisted: “It is not about 'touch me, feel me'. We want to tell the children that there is contact that they may find pleasurable, but some that they should say ’no’ to. Kids can unfortunately can become victims of sexual violence already at playschool age.“

Eymann said he would prefer if sex education was taught to children at home but argued that education officials needed to respond to the realities of today.

"We currently live in an oversexualised society. There is uncontrolled distribution of pornographic material that can reach young children. Some primary school children know the TV schedule until 2am. We would like to offer these children firm support, which is often not available in the family. The box is only an aid. I trust the teachers to approach the material with care."

Despite this, Eymann said he takes critics' arguments seriously, and has ordered the contents of the box to be examined after finding the cover of previous teaching material tasteless.

Some parents have called for their children to be exempted from sex education. Eymann says he is strictly against exemptions, although he is aware this will not make him many friends:

"Primary school may be the only big audience that our society has. The shared values that it teaches are very important. I would definitely like to keep this. The explanatory lesson can be portrayed in a way that doesn’t offend“, he said.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

2011-08-30 12:16:23 by quesadilla
While I agree that this is repulsive and perverted, there is something to be said for toddlers having sex ed in school. I have come to this conclusion because I was in kindergarten the first time I was propositioned by an older boy on my way to school. He said, "Can I screw you?" Having had older brothers, and seen boys naked by accident for a few varying reasons, I, of course, declined his "offer" (once one has seen the male equipment, as well as having seen manual and electric screw drivers in use over the years, it wasn't such a leap to realize his meaning. He said, "Do you know what that means?" I said, "Yah!" as he was asking a really dumb question. I deviated from my path so as to avoid going anywhere within three feet of him on my continuation to the school. I had already known the boy's first name, because I knew his younger sister, who was two or three grades ahead of me, had told me. Our school didn't introduce the kids to sex ed until the third grade, by which time, kids can already have developed a warped attitude about sexuality, and many of the kids in my school already had. But teaching kindergarteners that what is often referred to them as "bad touch" can be enjoyable will only serve to sexualize their play, and sexualize their tantrums and fights (yes, kids fight with each other, all over the world). We don't let our kids watch The Jerry Springer Show, or encourage in them the viewing of other forms of pornography...Why would you encourage them to masturbate in the classroom?
2011-08-26 18:39:50 by Ron
uco07421: You are absolutely right! Sem duvida é uma agenda satanico! Elle quer destruir nossas crianças antes que creseram! This is what happens when man rejects God and his moral standards for humanity! Let us pray for these poor deluded educators, the corrupters of our society.
2011-08-26 14:12:03 by uc07421
Totalmente inadecuado. Dejemos que nuestros niños vivan su etapa de inocencia. No hay que exponerlos desde tan temprano. Ademas, son los padres los llamados antes que nadie, a inculcarles los valores morales y los codigos de conductas. El estado no tiene porque decirme lo que le voy a enseñar a mis hijos. Soy yo como madre la que sé cuándo es que mi hijo esta listo para contestarle las preguntas que tengas relacionadas al sexo. ¿ES ESTO PARTE DE UNA AGENDA OCULTA?
2011-08-26 06:46:21 by Ron
totally disgusting! What a government of perverts! Our society is reeling and wreaking from sexually transmitted diseases; AIDS is making havoc among our men, women and children, yet these sick officials deem it good to indoctrinate, to instill into the fresh young minds of our toddlers the pleasures of sex! It is unconscionable! These people should be fired and sent to a mental hospital to put their minds in order. This is a good example of what happens when mankind removes the moral barriers that God has given him; he, humanity, sinks lower than the level of animals! Did not Christ tell us that just before he returns the world will revert to the evil and perversion of the times just before the Flood. Can't we learn from history? The grip of sin is so strong on mankind that only Christ can liberate us from its grip. It is my hope that these poor educators would give their lives to Jesus so they can be converted and saved.
Today's headlines
Lausanne woman among flight AH5017 dead
The Air Algérie plane was en route to Algiers. Photo: Farouk Batiche/AFP

Lausanne woman among flight AH5017 dead

A communications officer from Lausanne was among the 118 people on board the Air Algérie plane which crashed in Mali on Thursday. READ  

Resting Wawrinka drops in on Swiss Open
Wawrinka recovered from illness shortly before Wimbledon. Photo: Andrew Yates/AFP

Resting Wawrinka drops in on Swiss Open

Stan Wawrinka confirmed on Friday that he is fit and ready for the final leg of the ATP season, starting with the Masters 1000 event in Canada. READ  

Swiss swimmer attempts river Rhine record
The Rhine flows through Basel. Photo: Tambako the Jaguar

Swiss swimmer attempts river Rhine record

A man from Graübunden is attempting to swim the length of the river Rhine from its source to its mouth, a journey of 1,247 kilometres. READ  

Deal reached on Geneva airport construction
The agreement means Geneva airport's building work can go ahead. Photo: eguidetravel.com

Deal reached on Geneva airport construction

Environmentalists and residents groups have withdrawn their opposition to the renovation of Geneva airport’s east wing after an agreement was reached regarding the number of planes that may use it. READ  

New rules put damper on national day fireworks
Communes don't want to pay for fireworks training courses. Photo: Takashi Nishimura

New rules put damper on national day fireworks

Celebrations on Swiss National Day on August 1st may be more muted than usual this year after the government ruled that anyone running a fireworks display must undergo a costly training course. READ  

Youzhny sets up quarter- final clash in Gstaad
Mikhail Youzhny celebrates after winning last year's tournament. Photo: Alain Grosclaude/AFP

Youzhny sets up quarter- final clash in Gstaad

Top seed Mikhail Youzhny began his title defence at the Swiss Open tennis tournament in Gstaad on Thursday with a 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Frenchman Kenny De Schepper. READ  

EU rejects Swiss bid to rejig free movement deal
EU headquarters in Brussels. Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP

EU rejects Swiss bid to rejig free movement deal

The European Union on Thursday formally rejected Switzerland's request to renegotiate their freedom of movement accord so as to take into account a Swiss vote earlier this year to limit immigration, EU sources said. READ  

Strong franc eats into Roche first-half profits
Photo: Roche

Strong franc eats into Roche first-half profits

Pharmaceutical giant Roche on Thursday said its first-half profit fell by seven percent to 5.6 billion francs ($6.2 billion), hit by the strength of Switzerland's currency. READ  

Residents flee as river Emme floods village
Rega helped evacuate homes in the area. Photo: Rega

Residents flee as river Emme floods village

Rega, the Swiss air-ambulance service, evacuated residents of Schangnau in the canton of Bern on Thursday morning as the river Emme broke its banks. READ  

Students race futuristic boats in Lausanne
Students must design a boat that can travel the furthest distance using the least energy. Photo: Hydros

Students race futuristic boats in Lausanne

More than 100 students from six countries are competing in an eco-friendly boat-building competition on Dorigny beach in Lausanne this week. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Tech
Hackers exploit 'holes' in Swiss online banking systems: IT experts
Sport
Video of Bern football player's spectacular own goal goes global
Tech
Switzerland stays on top of innovation rankings for fourth year
National
Roger Federer and Lindsey Vonn play tennis at Jungfraujoch (VIDEOS)
Business & Money
Competition commission launches probe into Swiss car leasing 'fiddle'
Health
Down's syndrome cases in Switzerland more than double
National
American family files hefty lawsuit over deadly Swiss balloon crash
Features
Graubünden's panoramic Bernina Express celebrates rail history
National
Study rates Zurich as world's fifth most expensive city for expats
National
Swiss-based human brain project directors hit back at research critics
Business & Money
Switzerland gets the edge on EU with China free trade agreement
National
Entries for new Swiss national anthem competition swell over 200
National
Zurich-based helicopter firm denies role in Schumacher medical leak
Culture
Montreux Jazz Festival debuts live internet streaming of concerts
Features
Tour of Bern’s historic fountains tells story of Switzerland's capital
National
Swiss media lament football team's 'cruel' and 'bitter' defeat
International
The Local expands its reach with the launch of new website in Denmark
Sport
Jubilant press hails hat-trick hero Shaqiri as 'Swiss Messi'
National
New website study reveals inequality in Swiss disposable income
Travel
Switzerland’s largest ski area 4-Vallées breaks up over lift dispute
National
VIDEO: Zurich Zoo launches contest to name newborn baby elephant
Business & Money
CEO-to-worker pay gap grows at biggest Swiss firms: union study
Culture
VIDEO: Swiss performance artist plans naked stroll at Art Basel
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,199
jobs available