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Sex ed becoming more immigrant friendly

Sexual education in Finnish schools has become more explicit and is now making use of a teachers’ toolkit that includes plastic genitals. The new curriculum also aims to devote more attention to the needs of sexual minorities and pupils of immigrant backgrounds.

Hiv-tukikeskuksen seksuaaliterveyden työkalupakin sisältöä. Image: YLE

Apart from the act itself, the new syllabus covers issues like self-awareness, emotions, homosexuality and cultural differences.

The new teachers’ pack comes with a set of tools to facilitate learning, such as fake genitals, condoms, lubricants and brochures. In addition, the kit contains a book for educators teaching pupils with international backgrounds.

At the same time, the aim is to provide Finnish youths with an understanding of other cultures.

“When young Finns go abroad, they need to understand that it is not normal everywhere to strip naked in a dressing room in front of everybody,” says Special Planner Maatu Arkio-Lampinen from the Finnish Aids Council, which supplied the teachers’ pack.

Arkio-Lampinen emphasises a general need for cultural awareness.

“Every young person needs to understand that there are different cultures and religions, which influence our values, our ways of doing things and the development of our sexuality.”

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