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Huge international interest in Sweden’s sex education website

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Huge international interest in Sweden’s sex education website
A screenshot from the Youmo website. Photo: Youmo
14:23 CET+01:00
A website launched in Sweden to offer immigrants education on sex and relationships to which they may not have had access in their home countries has proved surprisingly popular even beyond the country's borders.

The site, youmo.se, was launched at the request of the Swedish government and aims to offer information to young people who are new in Sweden, covering a range of topics such as LGBT rights and same-sex relationships, sexually transmitted infections, anatomy, sexual assault and forced marriage, and where to get further help on questions relating to physical and mental health.

All content is available in multiple languages, including Arabic, Somali, and Persian languages, as well as English and simplified Swedish.

READ ALSO: How is Sweden tackling its integration challenge?

Many young asylum seekers arrive to Sweden from countries where this kind of information is not widely available; same-sex relationships and sex before marriage might be taboo or illegal, and the site is therefore useful to those who are directly affected, such as young gay or trans people, as well as offering educational material to others.

But last year, the vast majority of visits to the site (77 percent) came from overseas, according to figures from Inera, the company which runs the website.

More visits came from IP addresses registered in Iran than any other country, with twice as many visits as Sweden. The next most common countries of visitors were the USA, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Germany, the UK, Iraq and Algeria.

"It's a nice surprise that so many people have found their way here from other countries too," Lotta Nordh Rubulis, project leader at the company which runs the site, told Sveriges Radio. "We have very many visits to the pages about the structure of the genitals, what the different parts are and how they work. And the most visited page of all is the one about the vagina, in Arabic. There are good pictures of how it looks."

Another of the most frequently visited pages on the site was the page 'Vad är okej sex?' ('What is OK sex?') which outlines various scenarios such as having sexual fantasies and asking a classmate to send naked pictures and explains whether these are legal.

But last spring, the number of visits from Iran-registered IP addresses fell by more than 100,000 from February to March. Nordh Rubulis said she believed this was because "someone took a decision to cut off traffic [to the site]."

 
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