Cuba embraces Dutch-style sex education

17th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Cuba can learn a thing or two from Dutch-styled sex education. That’s the view of Mariele Castro Espín, daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro, espoused in an interview with Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

Ms Castro – a qualified sexologist - says that figures from the United Nations have convinced her about the effectiveness of the “Dutch model”. Dutch children are informed about sex at a young age – a sex education programme has been slotted into the national curriculum at primary schools.

The general openness about sexual matters backed up by national campaigns promoting the use of condoms have led to fewer teenage pregnancies, abortions and sexually transmitted diseases among young people, Ms Castro said. Figures also show that young people in the Netherlands have sex for the first time at a later age than in countries where sex is still a taboo subject.

“This model can be easily exported. Actually, the Dutch model is being applied in several countries…In the Netherlands, it’s a ‘sustainable’ approach, and one I’d like to see happening in Cuba,” Ms Castro added.

Mariela Castro is director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education, a government-funded body, whose aim is the development of the development of a culture of sexuality that is “full, pleasurable and responsible, as well as to promote the full exercise of sexual rights.” She will travel to the Netherlands in the near future to for discussions with institutions and government bodies related to sex education.

She has expressed interest in RNW’s English-language website, , which provides comprehensive information on sex.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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