Swedish sex ed video causes friction in Finland

A Swedish sex education video that examines all issues of sexuality and orientation has been met with mixed reactions in Finnish schools. The animated film, which has been produced by the Swedish sexual education and rights organisation (RFSU), explores LGBT and gender themes.

“It encourages young people to enjoy their own sexuality while at the same time emphasising that not everyone is interested in sex,” Hanna Pasanen of RFSU said in a YLE report.

The video has already been shown at Ruusuvuori School in Vantaa, southern Finland, with many pupils giving it the thumbs’ up. “It’s very direct with nothing hidden or presented with a sense of shame,” said eighth grader Kimi Tsutsunen.


Health education teacher Jenitta Kaivola also gave the teaching aid her seal of approval. “There has been a need for this sort of material where sexuality is presented diversely. Earlier productions have been a little childish,” she said.

“Greater expression is needed, especially at a time when the number of abortions for young girls is on the rise in Vantaa. It is essential to emphasise that sex is not just intercourse but a lot more,” she added.

However, the Finnish Parents’ League has complained that the programme is not suitable for all children and has been produced by a company which sells contraceptives. Tuomas Kurttila, the league’s director, said, for example, that he does not think the video should be shown to Muslims.

“We should provide balanced sex education, not necessarily one from our western neighbour,” said Kurttila.

The free video is available on request and has already been sent to 100 Finnish schools. “We wanted to create an inclusive film that all students could relate to, whatever their gender, sexual orientation or background,” RFSU wrote on its website.