We've partnered up with to offer a space where you can talk directly to Peter from and get an exclusive discount code for a free job listing. If you are recruiting or know anyone else who is please check out the forum here.
If you have a new account but can't post, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help to verify your email address. Thanks :)

Sex education for 4-10yr olds in Swiss Schools

  • 15-06-2011 6:07pm
    Closed Accounts Posts: 59 ✭✭✭ travnett

    Just reading an artice here in Switzerland where they have brought out a new sex education program in primary school. It involves the teachers showing the students aged between 4-10 wooden penis's and vaginas and they are encourched to explore their bodies.
    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.
    "It's important that they learn to say no if they don't want to be touched in a certain area," he said.

    here is the full article

    Now I am not a parent but I do have two younger brothers 8 and 10. I'd agree with giving my 10 yr old brother the talk (actually his mother did and he ran away with embarrassment not wanting to know about that stuff lol) but I think anything younger than 10 is too young and also I think the way they are doing it here is WAY too advanced for their ages and also it is something which parents should take the leading role on.

    What are your thoughts? Click on the article and you will see the sex toys they are given to compare with, it;s pretty disturbing!

    P.s Moderators feel free to move this to another forum if it is not in the right place.

    more info in german if anyone wishes


  • Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭✭ _ariadne

    Personally i believe that sex ed should be started at a young age, as long as it is explained in an age appropriate way. the toys and games all sound like a great way to deal with the topic with younger children without causing embarassment or confusion,.

    The toys are kinda funny, but i wouldnt really find them 'disturbing', i mean they are hardly sextoys.

    The only part of the programme that i have a real issue with is the sadbags thing. That should definatley be taught as something to do in private. and the massaging eachother conflicts with the saying no to unwanted contact bit, but its hard to tell from the article how exactly it is done.

    The problem with waiting till the child is more mature and then having 'the talk' is that in reality they will get a lot more info about sex before this, from tv/friends/internet and this info could be inacurate/unsafe, it also be be confusing or ambarrasing for the child to talk about any questions they may have if it is a once off event.

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 12,320 Mod ✭✭✭✭ byhookorbycrook

    The revised primary curriculum begins "sex ed" (though it's not a term I like) in junior infants.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,617 Cat Melodeon

    I don't have a huge issue with the method of teaching, although I would be uncomfortable having a teacher showing my 6-yr-old that sexual contact is pleasurable. Early sex education should begin at home. I don't ever remember having 'the talk' with my parents. I've always understood the mechanics of reproduction (thanks to having grown up with pets & animals and having quite matter-of-fact parents). Applying that knowledge to human sex wasn't a big leap. As for pleasure, well a certain amount of that should be self-discovery, surely?

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,331 ✭✭✭✭ Orion

    I watched the last episode of series 1 of The Zoo with my 7 year olds twins last weekend. It had a scene with the giraffe commencing birth. The giraffe was walking around with first one leg, then two legs and a nose sticking out of the vagina. My girls were fascinated but still innocent enough to not ask the awkward questions.

    This kind of thing is good. When they ask the questions they will be answered (I have my answer ready - "ask your mother" :D). Seriously tho - there should be no minimum age for learning about reproduction. It doesn't have to be fully explained at a young age but if direct questions are asked they should be answered.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,791 ✭✭✭ ash23

    I don't see the problem with telling children that it's pleasurable. Once it's also conveyed that they can and should say no if they are uncomfortable with being touched.

    I've already talked to my 8 year old about sex and she asked if she has sex will she get pregnant. I've advised her that there are hormones that can be taken to prevent pregnancy and that is why some people have sex but aren't pregnant. She asked why people would have sex if they don't want to have babies and I explained that sex feels good and is important for a couple etc etc.

    It's one of the main reasons people HAVE sex so why not just say it.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 8,660 ✭✭✭ CrazyRabbit

    Keeping children ignorant of one of the most basic human activities seems a bit silly. Of course, it all needs to be taught in an age-appropriate manner, and there should be a lot of focus on the difference between 'good' & 'bad' touches & personal privacy.

    I remember when I was young that I had odd & very limited understanding of sex/sexuality. I would have preferred the honest truth in a way I would have understood. I think it would have taken away a lot of the curiousity that later led me into some trouble.

  • Registered Users Posts: 70 ✭✭ goosie2005

    there was a good discussion on 'when is the right time to have 'the talk'? on John Murray Show yesyterday. John Sharry was on it, and what i got out of it was 1)shouldn't be just one conversation but an ongoing one at different stages, 2)if you leave it too late, kids can get embarrassed about it, younger kids are more matter of fact about things, and sets it up better for further conversations when they are older. All about being honest and taking kids lead i guess.
    you can listen to the podcast of the show at

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,376 metrovelvet

    I dont think massage should be in a sex ed context. Its not a sex act. Its not related to reproduction either.

    Ok, teach them baby massage or whatever on each other, but not in a sex ed context, more like a yoga or phys ed.

    I think its incredibly weird that the swiss view massage as a sex ed thing.