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WHO Regional Office for Europe and BZgA: Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe

The “Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe” were elaborated jointly by the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) in close cooperation with a group of 20 experts from nine European countries. They are to apply to all European WHO Member States.

The standards were developed as a reaction to major differences in the quality of sexuality education in school. The sexuality education given in schools in many countries in the European region concentrates solely on the communication of biological facts, neglecting social and psychological aspects, as well as the communication of skills. This one-sided orientation and the poor quality of the sexuality education provided have negative consequences for young people in the European region: many countries are recording an increase in sexually transmitted infections and teenage pregnancies.

The “Standards for Sexuality Education” comprise a general introduction to the importance of sexuality education in school and the underlying concepts. In addition, a comprehensive overview provides information on the subjects that should be covered by the curriculum for the individual age groups. The special feature of this matrix is that, above and beyond the topics, it also indicates which skills children and young people should acquire, and which attitudes should be promoted. The standards are based on a positive interpretation of sexuality, which they consider to be a part of physical and mental health. Such topics as HIV/AIDS, unwanted pregnancies and sexual violence are embedded in all-embracing education that focuses on the self-determination of the individual and people’s responsibility for themselves and others.

The WHO Regional Office for Europe and the BZgA will support the dissemination and implementation of the standards in the framework of workshops.

A workshop with representatives from countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia took place 25-26 November 2010. For more information please klick here.

Cover of the document "Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe"

WHO Regional Office for Europe and BZgA

Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe

A framework for policy makers, educational and health authorities and specialists

English Version

Order number: 60059500


German Version

Order number: 60059501


Russian Version

Order number: 60059502


Finnish Version

Printed version not available


Italian Version

Printed version not available



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