Why Germany Teaches Sex Education To 5 Year Olds

Germany has made sex education a mandatory part of the school curriculum. Many parents support it, but others are worried about the effects of teaching children about sex at such a young age.

Sex education has been mandatory in Germany since 1992, and it's been taught in most schools in the country since the 1970's. Even though many people are in support of sex ed in the classroom, the fact that it's now mandatory in every school has caused a bit of controversy.

Several years ago, a school in Berlin used an illustrated book called "Where Do You Come From?" to teach young kids about intercourse. A lot of parents were upset because they felt the material was not appropriate for children of this age, but some parents were upset that sex education was being taught in the classroom at all. So, who should really be responsible for a child's sex education? Parents or the government?

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Many people believe it's the government's responsibility to educate kids on sex, the risks involved, and how to prevent STD's and unwanted pregnancy. Others believe it's the parent's sole responsibility to educate their kids about sex in a way that aligns with their religious and cultural beliefs. Baptists in Germany feel so strongly about the latter that they filed complaints with the European Court of Human Rights to be able to keep their fourth graders at home on the days sex ed was being taught.

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It is evident, however, that countries with more prevalent sex education available to young people leads to higher contraceptive use and lower teen pregnancy rates. In fact, Germany's teen pregnancy rate is 3 times less than the U.S. But it seems that those who have strong religious convictions when it comes to sex, especially on controversial issues like abortion and homosexuality, will continue to protest the idea of sex education in the classroom.

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Read more about Germany's sex education controversy:

Student Pulse: An Analysis of Sex Education Programs in the United States, the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, France, and Germany