Sweden makes sex info films for immigrants

Sweden's government has funded a series of films to teach immigrant women about sex, their sexual organs, and their reproductive rights.

Sweden makes sex info films for immigrants
Sexual and reproductive rights include things like pregnancy, abortion and safe sex. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU), a sexual charity, has so far made eleven films, which are currently being translated into 14 different languages. 
The animated films, the first of which were put online at the end of March, cover all aspects of sex from pure enjoyment, with titles such  “Lust and Pleasure”, and “Female Genitalia”, to pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion and female genital mutilation. 
“We want it to be absolutely not condescending, or demeaning, we want it to be empowering, that in Sweden you have these rights,” Magdalena Abrahamsson, who led the project, told The Local. 
The videos, which are closer to slide shows than films, communicate Sweden's matter-of-fact approach to sex in Arabic, Dari, Somali, Persian, Northern and Central Kurdish, English and other languages. 
“For some people the most pleasurable thing is to be stroked all over,” says the narrator in Lust and Pleasure, “while others enjoy putting something in the vagina.” 
The video then goes on to describe how the clitoris becomes erect during sexual arousal, masturbation, and the use of lubricants, ending with a message on the importance of good communication with your sexual partner and being “open and curious”. 
Abrahamsson said RFSU had not found that women newly arrived from sexually conservative countries like Somalia, Afghanistan or Syria, experienced the material as embarrassing or offensive. 
“We did not find that there were any difficulties, rather we’ve had a very positive response, that people think it’s very exciting, interesting, and important to get hold of this information,” she said. 
On Thursday Social Minister Annika Strandhäll announced that that project would receive a further 3.7 million kronor ($416,000) in funding. 
“We have established that some of the women in this group of new arrivals come from societies with completely different norms, rules and laws,” she told Sweden's TT newswire. 
“This project will give this group of women a better chance to understand sexual and reproductive rights in Sweden.” 
With the new funding, RFSU aims to translate the films into more language, and also to design a set of tailored courses aimed at interpreters. 
This follows feedback from midwives and gynaecologists in Sweden, who told RFSU that translators very often lack the terminology or background knowledge to discuss sexual health. 
The organization also plans to educate a group of “peer educators” who speak some of the 14 languages, who can then pass the knowledge on to others in their communities. 

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More men in Sweden sell sex than women: study

More than twice as many young men in Sweden sell sex as do women, a study published Monday by the Swedish National Board for Youth Affairs (Ungdomsstyrelsen) said.

More men in Sweden sell sex than women: study

According to the study, 2.1 percent of Swedish males aged 16 to 25 said they had prostituted themselves in 2012, compared to 0.8 percent of women.

While young women almost exclusively sold sex to men, young Swedish men sold sex to both men and women.

“Behind these figures, there are about 20,000 people who need help,” said Marie Nyman, a spokeswoman for the board.

“We have a hard time understanding why guys outnumber girls,” she said.

The study also found a strong connection between paying for sex and sexual violence, with 78 percent of those who reported having sold sex said they has also been sexually assaulted.

A representative for the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (Riksförbundet för sexuell upplysning – RFSU) told the news agency TT that it could be speculated that young gay men “have an easier time accepting their sexuality if they do it in exchange for something, like a few beers or a recharge of their phone card.”

The study found that 21.9 percent of youths aged 16 to 25 “think it is acceptable that others have sexual relations in exchange for compensation,” adding that young men are in general more tolerant than young women.

Half of the clients of male and female prostitutes under the age of 26 were also under the age of 26, Nyman said.

In Sweden, selling sex is not a crime, however paying or attempting to pay for sex is punishable by fines. Anyone convicted of purchasing sex from a minor can be sentenced to up to two years in prison.

The new report also uncovered that fewer young people are publishing “sexy” images and film clips online compared to 2009.

Back then, 7.8 percent reported having posted sexually-themed images on the internet, compared to 4.7 percent today.

The study was based on responses from the 2,254 Swedes questioned in the survey.

A 2006 study published in a US medical journal specialized in sexually transmitted diseases, entitled “Estimates of the Number of Female Sex Workers in Different Regions of the World”, showed that Sweden had one of the lowest rates of female prostitution in the world, at just 0.1 percent.

AFP/The Local

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