‘Boost sex ed in Swedish schools’: minister

The Swedish government plans to boost sexual education in schools, announcing a 10 million kronor ($1.5 million) investment to expand the subject from biology classes into history, social studies and religion.

'Boost sex ed in Swedish schools': minister

“It will give teachers the tools necessary to inspire to dialogue and reflection,” minister for integration and equality, Nyamko Sabuni, wrote in an opinion article in daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) on Tuesday.

According to Sabuni sexual education is still controversial in Swedish schools.

When the national TV network Sveriges Television (SVT) together with sexual educators RFSU showed a film called “Sex on the map” (Sex på kartan) in Swedish schools it met with strong reactions as a dark skinned boy was shown having sex with a lighter skinned girl, and because the film featured homo-, bi-, transsexual and queer issues.

According to Sabuni there is a growing frustration with harassment and violence being swept under the carpet in Sweden.

“Sexual education in Swedish schools is important from an equality perspective and in order to combat sexual violence, sexual harassment and other violating behaviour,” Sabuni wrote in DN.

Treating sex ed as solely a part of the biology subject makes it too narrow, according to the government, arguing that issues concerning gender and sexuality should be discussed within the framework of other subjects as well.

By integrating sex education into subjects like social studies, history and religion, the government is hoping to bring a discussion on equality to the forefront of Swedish education.

“The adult world has a responsibility to create arenas where our young people can discuss sex and relationships – as well as boundaries, abuse and sexual rights – in a natural and relaxed way,” Sabuni wrote.

The government has also asked the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket) to increase teachers’ awareness on the differences between the sexes when it comes to language, reading and writing skills.

Sexual education has been mandatory in Swedish schools since 1956 and has traditionally been incorporated into biology studies.

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Stockholm Pride is a little different this year: here’s what you need to know 

This week marks the beginning of Pride festivities in the Swedish capital. The tickets sold out immediately, for the partly in-person, partly digital events. 

Pride parade 2019
There won't be a Pride parade like the one in 2019 on the streets of Stockholm this year. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

You might have noticed rainbow flags popping up on major buildings in Stockholm, and on buses and trams. Sweden has more Pride festivals per capita than any other country and is the largest Pride celebration in the Nordic region, but the Stockholm event is by far the biggest.  

The Pride Parade, which usually attracts around 50,000 participants in a normal year, will be broadcast digitally from Södra Teatern on August 7th on Stockholm Pride’s website and social media. The two-hour broadcast will be led by tenor and debater Rickard Söderberg.

The two major venues of the festival are Pride House, located this year at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm at Skanstull in Södermalm, and Pride Stage, which is at Södra Teatern near Slussen.

“We are super happy with the layout and think it feels good for us as an organisation to slowly return to normal. There are so many who have longed for it,” chairperson of Stockholm Pride, Vix Herjeryd, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Tickets are required for all indoor events at Södra Teatern to limit the number of people indoors according to pandemic restrictions. But the entire stage programme will also be streamed on a big screen open air on Mosebacketerassen, which doesn’t require a ticket.  

You can read more about this year’s Pride programme on the Stockholm Pride website (in Swedish).