What type of sexual education do parents expect from society?

14-12-2023

Eastern Europe

CNE.news

Students at the British School in Vilnius. Photo Facebook, British School Vilnius

A new poll shows that Lithuanian parents agree on one thing regarding their children's education: sexual education should be in line with what the kids are taught at home.

Children in Lithuania receive sex ed at school. However, not everyone has been happy with the content of these classes thus far. In September, there was a large controversy around the matter, as parents were concerned that the classes were used to teach the children about genderism, BNN reported earlier.

In response to the upheaval, research centre Vilmorus started a study, commissioned by the Free Society Institute, to discover what parents really think about the sexual education of their children. The study surveyed several aspects of the parents' attitude towards sexual education, Laikmetis points out.

The first is the attitude of the population towards parents' ability to choose the content of sexuality education for their children according to their beliefs. In addition, participants were questioned about their view on the fact that children are taught at schools that it is good to postpone sexual relationships to a later age and to associate sexual intercourse with love and long-term relationships. People were also questioned about their approval or disapproval of the fact that the topic of contraception is introduced to students in Grade 7 when children are about 13 years old. And lastly, participants could give their opinion on whether they agreed with the teaching in schools that homosexual relationships are equivalent to male-female relationships.

Mature

It turns out that Lithuanian parents are quite traditional when it comes to the sexual education of their children. The majority wants parents to be able to have a say in the sexual education of their children and believes that fathers and mothers should be able to choose the classes according to their beliefs (59.8 per cent), Laisvos Visuomenes Institutas writes. In addition, participants expect sexual education to focus on developing a mature personality and a responsible attitude towards sexual relations.

About 75 per cent agreed that children should be taught to postpone sexual relationships until they are more mature. Also, most Lithuanians want the sexual education classes to follow the traditional family as a role model. More than 68 per cent do not want children to learn that homosexual relationships are equal to heterosexual marriages.

Approval

In general, most Lithuanians do approve of sexual education in schools. They find it important to develop children's awareness of these topics. Compared to a similar study that was carried out in 2018, more Lithuanians support sexual education, and they express their approval more clearly. This year, more people also supported the postponing of sexual relations to a later age. In 2018, 64 per cent of men and 72 per cent of women agreed to that. This year, these percentages have grown to 70.4 per cent and 79.5 per cent respectively.

The debate on homosexual relationships seems to become more outspoken, Laiketis writes. There are more people who believe children should be taught that gay relations are equal to heterosexual relationships, but also more people who disagree with that statement. That means that more people have taken a position on the issue, and the number of those who do not have an opinion on the matter decreased.

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