Sexuality Education Across the European Union

An Overview

Published in: European Commission website (2021). doi: 10.2767/869234

Posted on RAND.org on February 23, 2021

by Natalie Picken

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Over the last few decades, there has been increasing recognition and evidence that teaching about the cognitive, emotional, social and physical aspects of sexuality can have positive impacts on children and young people's sexual and reproductive health. Emerging evidence also suggests that delivering sexuality education programmes to children and young people at school can have a positive effect on larger societal issues, such as gender equality, human rights, and the well-being and safety of children and young people. According to UNESCO, effective sexuality education should adopt a comprehensive approach: a curriculum-based process of teaching and learning about the cognitive, emotional, physical and social aspects of sexuality. Sexuality education programmes can tackle a wide range of topics, including sexual and reproductive health (including sexually transmitted diseases and youth pregnancy), relationships, sexual orientation and gender roles.

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