Child is no sexual being, Austrian parents say in petition


Central Europe


Education experts in Austria are worried about sexual education in the country. They fear that the child is seen as a little adult. Photo AFP, Joe Klamar

In Austria, educators, parents and experts are calling for the immediate stopping of harmful content in sex education. Too often, the child is approached as a “sexual being”, the protesters say.

With a petition, pedagogues, doctors, psychologists, other experts, and parents are calling on the political leaders in Austria to take a close look at the content of sex education that is dangerous to children and to clearly distance themselves from a sex education ideology that “contrary to all developmental psychological findings, children and young people instrumentalised for itself”. The German Catholic magazine Die Tagespost reports about this.

The current reason for the petition is the new curricula, which are to be implemented in autumn 2023, in which the content of sex education would not be treated in an age- and development-appropriate manner. This was announced by the association “Children’s Welfare – Association of Austrian Pedagogues” (Kinderwohl – Verein Österreichischer Pädagogen) as the initiator of the petition. Also the Institute for Marriage and Family (IEF) in Austria sympathises with the initiative.

Small adults

The petition also focuses on fundamental ministerial decrees on sex education and the WHO standards for sex education in Europe. The latter goes back to the theories of the paedophile activist Helmut Kentler that were recently criticised in Great Britain. Initial signatories include individuals, medical professional associations and parent groups.

“The most problematic premise in this context is the view that the child as a “sexual being” expresses its feelings, its lust and its play behaviour sexually, which means a subtle blurring of the boundaries between adult and child sexuality,” the signatories point to a central doctrine the “Sexual Education of Diversity”, which can also be found in the basic texts on sex education in Austria. This shows that current sex education is uncritically close to a practice that treats children in certain sexual matters like miniature adults.

Alarming studies

Using case studies from practice, the petition’s initiators illustrate how shame boundaries are regularly violated in workshops on sex education at school and content that is not age-appropriate is presented. For example, the parents of a 10-year-old are quoted as follows: “Our daughter said with disgust that she had learned that during sexual intercourse, the woman puts the man’s penis deep in her mouth. It was said that ‘oral sex’ is part of it. The workshop leaders explained in pictures how this works.”

The signatories’ comment on this: “In the sensitive area of sex education, in addition to involving the parents as the main educators, a protective space for the sexual sphere must be observed, and the natural limits of shame of the children and young people must be respected to proceed in a manner appropriate to their development and age.”

Last year, the same organisation Kinderwohl wrote an open letter to the government against all Covid measures, like obligatory tests and face masks.


In response to the initiative in Austria, the organisation Zukunft.ch in Switzerland writes that the situation in their country is comparable. Recently, an MP has asked parliamentary questions about “transsexuality, and sexual diversity are given disproportionate priority” in education material for children of 12 years.



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