Measures which promote healthy sexual development – part 3

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3. Sex education

Sex education might be the most important component in the universal prevention of harmful sexual behaviour. Several subjects in the Knowledge Promotion Reform 2020 contain competence goals regarding sexuality and sexual behaviour, meaning this will be a topic throughout primary and secondary school.

Positive relations and safety are requirements to educate about sexuality. Assured adults with a high competence in sexual behaviour can provide honest and precise answers, which is necessary to successfully convey the subject. Sex education should contain topics like love, emotions, identity, respect, values, boundaries and relations, birth control and diseases. Teachers have the rare chance to converse regularly with pupils on these topics.

If the person teaching sex education is someone the pupils do not have daily contact with (i.e. the school nurse), the homeroom teacher should be present during the lesson and follow up on the subject afterwards.

Some pupils will, due to cognitive and developmental issues, need customized learning and teaching arrangements to ensure they get something out of the education.

The sexuality of teachers and pupils

In this audio clip you will listen to Steinar Hvål, psychology specialist at RVTS West-Norway, reflecting on the sexuality of teachers and pupils.

Read a transcript of the audio recording

Competence goals in Social Studies

Grade 2: “The pupil should be able to discuss emotions, body, gender and sexuality, and how to express and respect their own and others’ boundaries”

Grade 4: “The pupil should be able to discuss boundaries in relation to the body, what violence and sexual assault are, and where to go for help if one is exposed to violence and sexual assault”

Grade 7: “The pupil should be able to reflect on the variations of identities, sexual orientations and gender expressions, and their own and others’ boundaries in relation to emotions, body, gender and sexuality, and discuss what actions one can take in the event these boundaries are broken”

Grade 10: “The pupil should be able to reflect on how identity, self-image and personal boundaries evolve and are challenged in different social settings, and give suggestions on how to manage outside influences and unwanted acts”

Important topics

  • Values and attitudes
  • Healthy and unhealthy sexuality
  • What is okay and what is not
  • Age of consent
  • Boundaries/private areas
  • How to be a good romantic and sexual partner
  • It’s okay to say no!
  • Image sharing and social media
  • Sexual identity
  • Consequences of sexual assault – for both parties
  • Pornography (fiction and reality)