Which Countries Have The Best Sex Education?

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The United States has one of the highest teenage birth rates amongst other industrialized nations.

The United States has one of the highest teenage birth rates amongst other industrialized nations.

And some have blamed the US’s more conservative methods of sexual education. So, we wanted

to know, why is the US so far behind?

Well, according to the most recent World Bank data, which measures teen births from girls

aged 15 to 19, Europe has most of the world’s lowest teen birth rates. Frontrunner countries

like Italy, Germany, and Switzerland reported rates below 4 teen births per thousand people.

Sweden, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium also had low rates - just 5 or 6 teen

births per thousand people. Overall, European countries tend to have less than 20 teen births

per thousand.

Why? Well, Europe’s low teen birth rate has been partially attributed to their progressive

sexual education. One researcher found that in the Netherlands, parents and teachers focus

less on the “dangers of sex”, and more on the normal, positive aspects. Dutch teenagers

are therefore less likely to be secretive and misinformed about their first sexual experiences.

Other northern European countries in particular, hold that young people are still “rights

holders”, and are entitled to correct and comprehensive sex education.

The US, by contrast, has one of the highest teenage birth rates of all the developed nations

- around 30 teen births per thousand. Many believe that this high rate has to do with

their more repressive views towards teen sex. In southern states especially, they teach

abstinence-only sexual education, which leaves out key details about pregnancy and diseases.

United Nations reports have noted that this kind of education can backfire, and contribute

to more risky sexual behavior. The US also has a generally more negative attitude towards

sex, highlighting the “dangers” and the risks associated with it instead of the benefits

of a healthy, intimate relationship.

So does sex ed make a difference? Well, there certainly seems to be a positive correlation

between comprehensive sex ed and low teen birth rates. However, not all countries follow

this pattern, and many scholars still disagree on the best method to decrease teen births.

Some United Nations officials maintain that, although the rates of teen sex are unlikely

to change, the safety of teen sex can be significantly improved with sexual education.

When it comes to Sex education, Germany is miles ahead of the United States. To learn

just how successful their program is, check out the story from Seeker here. There’s

a link to that video in the description if you’re on your phone. Thanks for watching

TestTube!

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