• 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
Expats lace up running shoes for Swiss races
Runners take in mountain scenery in the Aletsch half marathon. Photo: Kathy Zimmerman

Expats lace up running shoes for Swiss races


From the simply beautiful to the downright barmy, Switzerland's vast array of running races are a great way for expats to integrate into the Swiss way of life, The Local's Caroline Bishop learns. READ () »

Unit sale drives rise in Novartis Q1 net profits
Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP

Unit sale drives rise in Novartis Q1 net profits

Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis on Thursday posted a 24-percent jump in first-quarter net profit from the same period a year earlier, driven largely by the sale of a blood transfusion diagnostics unit. READ () »

Doctor acquitted for aiding senior’s suicide
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Doctor acquitted for aiding senior’s suicide

A Neuchâtel cantonal court has overturned the conviction of a doctor found guilty of breaking the law by helping an 89-year-old man die without getting a proper diagnosis of his condition. READ () »

Vote set for ban on food trading 'speculation'
Photo: Michael Buholzer

Vote set for ban on food trading 'speculation'

The Swiss will vote on a proposal to ban speculation on agricultural commodities and food, the government said on Wednesday, announcing that organizers had gathered enough signatures to put the issue to a referendum. READ () »

Tweet exposes Iran trip by right-wing Swiss MPs
Swiss People's Party MP Luzi Stamm. Photo: Federal Parliament

Tweet exposes Iran trip by right-wing Swiss MPs

Six members of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) wanted to discreetly visit Iran without publicity last week but one of them inadvertently made the trip public in a tweet. 
 READ () »

Armadillo and crocodile meat seized at border
"Bush meat" seized by customs agents. Photo: Federal Customs Administration

Armadillo and crocodile meat seized at border

A Frenchman living in Switzerland was caught entering the country from France with unusual contraband in his suitcase: 16 kilograms of meat from exotic species native to the African jungle. READ () »

UN health agency hits back at vaccine foes
WHO headquarters in Geneva. Photo: Yann Forget

UN health agency hits back at vaccine foes

The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) hit back on Wednesday against vaccine deniers who claim that immunization is pointless, risky and that the body is better off fighting disease unaided. READ () »

More protection sought for Lavaux vineyards
Photo: Malcolm Curtis/The Local

More protection sought for Lavaux vineyards

Voters in the canton of Vaud are set to go to the polls for a third time next month to decide on the future of Lavaux, the celebrated vineyard region east of Lausanne. READ () »

Zurich Insurance study warns of cyber risks
Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Zurich Insurance study warns of cyber risks

Organizations must dramatically improve their response to cyber risks to avoid a new global shock on the scale of the financial crisis that rocked the world in 2008, a study from a Swiss-based insurer concludes. READ () »

Zurich inaugurates city's giant quartzite plaza
Image: Raumgleiter

Zurich inaugurates city's giant quartzite plaza

The city of Zurich inaugurated the largest plaza in Switzerland on Tuesday night after a 17.2-million-franc ($19.5-million) facelift. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Bern finds solution for Erasmus student exchange programme
National
Bern zoo faces animal cruelty charges over bear cub deaths
Society
Swiss alpine ski champion announces same-sex marriage
Features
Former industrial zone transforms into Zurich’s trendiest spot
Tech
Swiss Solar Impulse team shows off new fuel-free aircraft
International
Suspect in Liechtenstein bank CEO murder case 'likely dead'
Sponsored Article
Caveman comedy comes to Zurich in English
Society
Innovative building provides refuge for hypersensitive tenants
Tech
VIDEO: Teenage boy sends Swiss army knife into stratosphere
International
Switzerland ranks second in world for social progress: report
National
Pharrell Williams set to perform in first Montreux jazzfest concert
Sport
American wingsuit flyer dies after Bernese Oberland accident
Advertisement:
Business & Money
H&M plans hefty Swiss minimum wage for employees by 2015
International
Caterpillar accused by US senator of dodging taxes through 'Swiss plan'
International
Geneva man in Facebook page fight with Italian carmaker Ferrari
International
Schumacher’s wife pays for 'medical suite' at Swiss family mansion
International
Aborted Swiss airlines take-off injures four at London airport
International
Swiss refuse asylum request from topless protest group founder
Business & Money
British expat former banker to head Swiss finance regulator FINMA
National
Swiss honey contains harmful plastic: TV consumer affairs report
Business & Money
Luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe threatens Geneva exit over taxes
Business & Money
World's largest watch fair opens in Basel amid uncertain times
International
'Fergie' credits hikes around Verbier mountains for recent weight loss
Etoiles de Montagne
Sponsored Article
How to summer holiday up a Swiss mountain
Swissbenefits
Sponsored Article
How to avoid Switzerland’s tax haven trap
International
Switzerland's residents are the happiest in the OECD: report
Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

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

2,088
jobs available