Is sexual education in Spain adequate?

Sexual health is often ignored in Spanish education. The arguments surrounding this debate (whenever is necessary to implement it in schools or not) consider the protests of traditional families and religious groups that insist that abstinence is the most effective method to fight unwanted pregnancies and STD’s.

Several years of studies and data can prove that the higher percentages of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases are in countries where sexual education is seriously lacking, however, governments still struggle to implement measures that will help fight the stigma surrounding it and educate young people in a way that will give them the tools to have a healthy sexual life.

Contraceptive Methods

There is a striking contrast between the Nordic countries and Peninsular countries in their approach to sexuality. In Denmark, for example, external experts such as prostitutes,LGTBQA+ or HIV-positive persons are invited to speak in schools about their experience, and professors are encouraged to speak freely and answer all the questions the students might have. The rates of success are visible, since they have the lowest numbers on HIV and teenage parents. Meanwhile, in Spain, it’s not obligatory to teach it schools.

Sexual education in Spain

The quality of school-based sexuality education only depends of the person who is providing it and not on legal or legislative bases. It also means that the quality of the provision is not always efficient, and in rural areas, information is deficient and frequently shaped by religious groups. The inclusiveness of different sexual orientations, gender, and biological sex are often disregarded by teachers, that focus on hetero-normative relationships, and do not provide a good education for all students.

Different orientations, genders and biological sex

According to the Instituto Nacional de Estatistica, between 2000 and 2008, a total of 1.290 girls with 14 years old or less were mothers. The number grows when analyzing the next age group (15 years old or more), which shows that in the same time period, 4119 teenagers became parents. It’s a concerning number, that increases every year.

The reasons of involuntary pregnancies vary, but it’s roots are on misinformation about contraception due to an insufficient sexuality education; none or limited access to contraception or to family planning associations, in rural areas for example. In addition, teenage pregnancy can be the result of violence against girls (sexual abuse or violence, pedophilia or incest).

Some numbers:

  • When asked about what topic they would like to be more informed, 51.7% of people answered contraceptive methods, and 22.3 reproduction.
  • 38.1 % of people did not use protection on their first sexual encounter.
  • Its estimated that around 150.000 people live with HIV in Spain
  • Only 3.6% of all abortions were made by young women between 16 to 17 years old.

Level of information - Fuente propia

Age of first sexual encounter - Fuente propia

The numbers don’t lie. There’s a need for a shift in the way Spain faces sexual education to prevent the increase of HIV and other sexual transmitted diseases, as well as unplanned pregnancies on teens. The implementation of an inclusive program that teaches the diversity of the human body, consent, sexual pleasure, contraceptives, sexual orientation and STD’s might be the source of a more safe and stable society, where sex is not a taboo and  education is the priority.

Gabriela Pereira



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Escrito por GabrielaFFP el nov 24 2016. Archivado bajo Reportajes. Puedes seguir las respuestas de esta entrada por RSS 2.0. Los comentarios y pings están cerrados por el momento.

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