Dutch Christian organisation opposes plan for more sexual education at schools


Western Europe


Dutch class about sexuality. The textbook reads: "Long live love". Photo ANP, Marco de Swart

Pay more attention to sexual education, 37 youth organisations, social organisations, and expert centres in a petition to the Dutch government. However, the Dutch Association for Reformed Education (VGS) thinks it is a bad idea.

According to the initiators behind the petition, the requirements for sexual education at school are not concrete enough. That is reported by the Nederlands Dagblad.

“Schools must teach sexual education lessons. However, if they invite one guest speaker, they meet the requirement already”, Luc Lauwers, an expert in sexual education for Rutgers, says. Rutgers is an expert centre for sexuality.

Lauwers says that scandals like the one around the talent show the Voice of Holland, where sexual abuse took place, show that it is essential that young people learn to respect the wishes and boundaries of each other.

Furthermore, he points out that the inspection and students indicated that sex education, as currently taught at schools, is insufficient or barely sufficient.

The signers of the petition demand that the government sets more specific requirements for sexual education at schools. Earlier this week, they handed the manifest over to Mariëtte Hamer, the Dutch Commissioner for Sexual Abuse and Dennis Wiersma, the education minister in the Netherlands.

Safety and diversity

“In my opinion, our Reformed schools pay enough attention to sexual education”, Pieter Moens says. He is the President of the Dutch Association for Reformed Education, an umbrella organisation of Reformed schools. “We teach social safety and diversity lessons, and we pay attention to gender and homosexuality.” According to Moens, attention to topics related to sexuality is paid during different courses, such as biology and the social sciences.

Schools have many topics and problems to deal with, Moens points out. “We have to deal with subjects like addictions and situations of divorce”, he says. According to him, schools should first focus on basic skills, such as reading, math and language arts. “If schools get the responsibility to deal with societal issues, this will negatively affect other sorts of education.”


The manifest stresses that schools should deal with the topic of sexuality more holistically. Lauwers thinks schools too often only pay attention to the biological side of sexuality. “Young people indicate that they want information about gender norms, diversity, desires and enjoying sex. The school is a good place to learn from each other and talk with each other outside the family.”

However, Moens disagrees. He thinks that the family is the first place to learn about sexuality. Furthermore, he argues that the current legislation on sexual education is sufficient. He says that the regulations fit in with the freedom of education. “We choose our methods based on two lines of reasoning: What does the Bible say about relationships and the family, and how does society think about it? With these methods, we can stay true to the identity of our schools.”



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