Sex ed 'toys' raise eyebrows in Basel
A new sex education program being introduced in Basel this year includes a "sex box" with wooden penises and fabric vaginas. The curriculum goes too far for some parents and politicians.
The new materials for the sex ed program are being distributed to 30 primary schools and kindergartens in Basel, containing dolls, puzzles, books and other educational material for 4 to 10-year-olds, and a box with the more explicit materials for older kids, according to the newspaper Blick.
The guide included with the kit instructs kindergarten teachers to "show that contacting body parts can be pleasurable." It also recommends having children massage each other or to rub themselves with warm sand bags, all accompanied by soft music.
"Children should be encouraged to develop and experience their sexuality in a pleasurable way," Daniel Schneider, a deputy kindergarten rector for Basel who helped develop the sex ed curriculum along with experts, told the paper.
"It's important that they learn to say no if they don't want to be touched in a certain area," he said.
But for some, the materials are much too explicit and being introduced at too young at age.
"Sex education, sure, but it shouldn't been done this early and it certainly shouldn't be obligatory," said Daniel Trappitsch of the Citizens for Citizens association, who warned of a "catastrophic development" that needed to be fought.
Gabi Huber of Switzerland's Free Democratic Party also expressed astonishment at the new program.
"Sex education in this form belongs and should stay in the hands of parents – and certainly not in kindergartens," she said, calling on education authorities "not to tolerate instruction like this."
But others have defended the curriculum in the face of the vocal protests. Thomas Steffen, a school doctor in Basel, told Blick that the taboo around sex and sex ed "is a problem that only adults have."
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