We are republishing our op-ed in The Epoch Times here. [1]

From the Autumn term of 2022 there is a new national curriculum in Swedish schools.  Sex education, renamed Sexuality, Consent and Relationships, now takes a greater place. For example, the Swedish Agency for Education wants children to explore their sexuality as early as in preschool. Behind this new order is the EU and WHO’s standard for sex education. We believe that this is the wrong approach and risks harming our children. [2, 3, 4, 5]

Although we know it is harmful, children are increasingly exposed to adult sexuality. They see explicit sexual material via pornography and on social media, and now also in the classroom. Children do not have the capacity to deal with adult sexuality. We parents, educators and concerned citizens should do all we can to stop the Swedish Agency for Education sexualising and confusing children.

Too many adults can remember how they as children were forced to deal with adult sexuality. Early and inappropriate sexualisation affects our thoughts, feelings and actions and leads to sexual and other abuse and to unhealthy relationships.

From the Autumn term of 2022 there is a new national curriculum in Swedish schools.  Sex education, renamed Sexuality, Consent and Relationships, now takes a greater place.  It no longer consists of a few lessons in year 8, as people over thirty may remember it. Now it will be an interdisciplinary element of most subjects, starting already in preschool. The same change is taking place in other European countries as the European Union (EU) introduces the World Health Organization’s (WHO) standard for sex education. [2, 3, 4, 5]

The WHO intends to change sex education for children. Talking about biology and contraceptives is not enough. They want educators to encourage toddlers to enjoy their bodies and convey a positive outlook on sex. They want the children in preschool to experience “… pleasure at touching one’s own body and masturbation in early childhood. [4 p. 38]

Using Swedish expertise, WHO developed this new standard for sex education in 2010. [4] It describes how to encourage 0-4-year-old children to explore gender identities and learn how to withhold or give consent to sexual activity. In justifying the new standard, the WHO and its proponents often use misleading language, claiming that the teaching is age-appropriate, medically correct, culturally appropriate and has a proven positive impact on children.

In 2019, the government commissioned the Public Health Agency of Sweden (FHM) to develop a national strategy for introducing WHO sex education in Sweden. [6] This is how FHM describes the move:

“In schools, many important initiatives and changes have been implemented, such as a more subject-integrated sex and relationship education. The work is supported by a national quality review from the Swedish Schools Inspectorate, development efforts from, among others, the Swedish Agency for Education, other agencies, local authorities and voluntary organisations, as well as international guidelines on sex and relationship education from UNESCO and WHO Europe.” [7]

In Sweden, which WHO sees as a pioneering country, the tax-funded Swedish Association for Sexual Information (RFSU) has a major impact in the work of shaping the content of primary school sexuality education [8, p. 154]. They write:

“The very ability to get erection, get moist in the vagina and have an orgasm is something that all human beings are born with.” [9 p. 4]

RFSU’s publication Children’s sexuality — a guide focuses on children from infancy until the onset of puberty. The text follows WHO standards and is intended to provide support to parents, preschool staff and teachers. [9 p. 1]

In some countries, such as Romania, Poland and Hungary, resistance to the new standard of sex education is growing. [5 p. 68] According to the EU, opposition is often based on two objections:  that sexualisation destroys children’s innocence and can lead them to commit sexual acts that they later regret, and secondly that Sex education suitable for young children, if required, is the responsibility of the parents, not the school. [5 p. 47] To respond to the criticism, the WHO has issued a Q&A:

Question: What are your thoughts when you say that sex education should begin from birth?

Answer: The WHO has decided this because sexuality includes more than just the sexual act. [10]

Question: According to some critics, the standards encourage 1 to 4-year-old children to masturbate and to play doctors and 6-year-old children to explore same-sex relationships. Is that correct?

Answer: That’s correct. Otherwise, educators may behave inappropriately and harm the children. [10]

Question: Does WHO sex education damage or morally corrupt children and young people?

Answer: No, quite the opposite. [10]

In Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Estonia, the resistance of the population is estimated to be small. [8 p. 155] Concern that resistance will grow to be large even in Sweden is, in our opinion, a not too far-fetched explanation for the curriculum’s unclear and misleading language. But now it seems rather that Swedish teachers’ limited interest in sexualisation is seen as a problem. [8 p. 155] The Ministry of Education therefore saw to it that sex education became compulsory in all teacher training programmes, including that for preschool teachers in 2021. [11]

Teachers and school administrators are fantastic; They love their subjects and the children and want nothing more than to help them learn and develop. Many of them are parents themselves and are aware that sexualisation harms children. But unfortunately, there are also school staff who have a radical sexual and social agenda. We believe they do not understand that they are harming and confusing children with the new style of sex education. If we allow them to adopt the new standard of sex education unchallenged, we are failing the children.

We encourage you as an educator to inform yourself and your colleagues about the EU’s, WHO’s and the Swedish Agency for Education’s agenda. Get organised, discuss the problems of the curriculum (as well as the in-service training courses for teachers and the resource materials provided for teachers) with the staff and with the head, who has overall responsibility for teaching. Think about how you can inform parents. Well-informed teachers and parents who act together in a reasonable way can become the resistance needed to put an end to the new sex education. Seek allies among school staff, the media and government agencies.

If you are a parent who does not want your children to be subjected to the new sex education, it can feel difficult to raise your voice. But remember that you are not alone. If you’re worried, other parents in your children’s school are surely also worried. Most of us absolutely do not want this. Connect with other parents and build networks. Our organisation can help you build such networks. [12] Get to know your child’s teachers, school administrators and other parents. They probably feel anxious too and with your support they can act more easily.

You can give your own children a sound foundation regarding relationships and sexuality. Let them know that they can always come to you with any questions or concerns. Teach them to trust their instincts and to stand up for themselves. Parents and others working to protect children will be needed as we take back command of sex education and together stop the new standard.

Martin Lantz, Aida Reva, Maria Gontevas, Jesper Kekki, Lorena König, Marianne Liljeholt, Tina L Hedenquist for Vi Tillsammans


  1. Stop the Swedish Agency for Education’s sexualisation of schoolchildren, Epoch Times, Martin Lantz, Aida Reva, Maria Gontevas, Jesper Kekki, Lorena König, Marianne Liljeholt, Tina L Hedenquist for Vi tillsammans, https://www.epochtimes.se/Stoppa-Skolverkets-sexualisering-av-skolbarn
  2. Sexuality, consent and relationships, Swedish Agency for Education, https://www.skolverket.se/skolutveckling/inspiration-och-stod-i-arbetet/stod-i-arbetet/sexualitet-samtycke-och-relationer
  3. WHO Collaboration Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health, WHO & BZgA, https://www.bzga-whocc.de/en/publications/
  4. Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe, WHO & BZgA, 2010, https://www.bzga-whocc.de/fileadmin/user_upload/BZgA_Standards_English.pdf
  5. Comprehensive sexuality education: why is it important? EU, 2022, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2022/719998/IPOL_STU(2022)719998_EN.pdf
  6. Mandate to develop a national strategy for sexual and reproductive health and rights, Government, S2019/03298/FS, 2019, https://www.regeringen.se/regeringsuppdrag/2019/08/uppdrag-att-utarbeta-en-nationell-strategi-for-sexuell-och/
  7. Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Sweden 2017 – Results from the population survey SRHR2017, FHM, 2019, https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/publikationer-och-material/publikationsarkiv/s/sexuell-och-reproduktiv-halsa-och-rattigheter-i-sverige-2017/?pub=60999
  8. Sexuality education in Europe and Central Asia: state of the art and recent developments; an overview of 25 countries. Assessment report, BZgA & IPPF, 2018, https://www.bzga-whocc.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Dokumente/BZgA_ComprehensiveCountryReport_EN.pdf
  9. Children’s sexuality – a guide, RFSU, 2015, https://www.rfsu.se/globalassets/pdf/barnssexualitet_web.pdf
  10. Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe: Frequently asked questions, BZgA, 2016, https://www.bzga-whocc.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Dokumente/BZgA_Standards_FAQ_EN.pdf
  11. Increased competence on neuropsychiatric difficulties and sex and coexistence in teacher education, U2020/00176/UH, Ministry of Education, 2020, https://www.regeringen.se/rattsliga-dokument/departementsserien-och-promemorior/2020/01/okad-kompetens-om-neuropsykiatriska-svarigheter-och-sex-och-samlevnad-i-lararutbildningarna/
  12. Parent group, Vi Tillsammas, https://vi-tillsammans.nu/engagemang/rorelse/foraldragrupp/