Polish Sexual Education

Let's Talk About Sex

Let’s Talk About Sex

“If you try to explain geometry to a girl, you should be patient, even if the fact that she is so slow on the uptake annoys you.” “Children who have no contact with their father develop low self-esteem and are more likely to come into conflict with the law.” “Many specialists recommend using herbs instead of antiperspirants.” Sentences like these can be found in a series of sexual education textbooks endorsed by the Polish Ministry of Education. “This is extremely worrying. There is no knowledge to be found in these textbooks, only ideology,” says Maria Pawłowska of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). “The authors fail to provide pupils with the tools necessary for making their own choices. Instead, these textbooks convey what, according to the Catholic Church, is the one and only correct view of sexuality.” For example, the textbooks suggest that only married heterosexual couples can engage in sexual relations. Contraceptives are presented as highly fallible with the rhythm method of birth control being the recommended alternative. Furthermore, the textbooks are filled with stereotypes. “Being a woman is equated to being a mother to the point where one is expected to give up one’s seat for a pregnant woman not out of the consideration for her wellbeing but as a way to show respect for the life growing inside her,” adds Pawłowska. The Ministry of Education counters these criticisms, saying that the textbooks have been approved by experts.
Gazeta Wyborcza

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