Sexuality education

Educated children and youth protect themselves better against sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. They develop healthier lifestyles too. The federal government is therefore supporting sexuality education in the cantons.

Why is sexuality education necessary?

Sexuality education plays an important role in preventing sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancies and sexual violence. It strengthens children’s and young people’s confidence, and enables a healthy approach towards sexuality.

Who needs sexuality education?

All children and youth in Switzerland are entitled to sexuality education. Access to up-to-date knowledge and skill-based teaching enables a healthy approach to sexuality, and contributes to preventing sexual abuse and diseases.

Who provides sexuality education?

Sexuality education forms the basis for sexual health promotion. It should begin at home and be supplemented through sexuality education in school to guarantee prevention and equal opportunity in access to relevant information. Therefore, sexuality education takes place wherever children and young people live. It may be planned or delivered without special concepts and rules, for example in day-care, a sports club or holiday camps.

Who is responsible for sexuality education?

Prevention of sexual infections, sexual abuse and protection of health are matters of public interest. The National Programme for HIV and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections NPHS defines the responsibilities and duties of the federal government, the cantons and the main players:
The federal government supports development-oriented sexuality education. Responsibility for implementation lies with the cantons. Teaching staff is trained at the Universities for Applied Sciences and specialised non-governmental organisations (NGO) assure the quality of the services offered. Sexuality education and information is a task of the school system and is described in the curriculum. The school supports the skill development of pupils through pedagogically adequate and evidence-based materials.  

Documents

Review of the principles of sexuality education (in German) (PDF, 332 kB, 20.02.2018)Report of the Federal Council in fulfilment of the postulate 14.4115 Regazzi of 10th December 2014. Bern, February 2018.

Review of the principles of sexuality education (in French) (PDF, 414 kB, 20.02.2018)Report of the Federal Council in fulfilment of the postulate 14.4115 Regazzi of 10th December 2014. Bern, February 2018.

Expert report on sexuality education (in German) (PDF, 3 MB, 20.02.2018)Expert report on sexuality education in Switzerland relating to international guidelines and selected analogue countries. Bern, June 2017.

Expert report on sexuality education (in French) (PDF, 3 MB, 20.02.2018)Expert report on sexuality education in Switzerland relating to international guidelines and selected analogue countries. Bern, June 2017.


Youth sexuality through changing times. (in German) (PDF, 3 MB, 26.01.2017)Influences, prospects.
Report by the Swiss Committee for Children and Youth Matters. Bern, 2009.

Framework paper on Sexuality Education and Schools. (in German only) (PDF, 1 MB, 27.01.2017)Foundations for Swiss-wide anchoring of sexuality education in school and considerations for training and further training of teaching staff in colleges.
Kompetenzzentrum Sexualpädagogik und Schule. Luzern, 2008.

Sexuality education and schools (in German) (PDF, 129 kB, 27.01.2017)A situation analysis.
Kompetenzzentrum Sexualpädagogik und Schule. Luzern, 2007.

Further information

Strategy

The NPHS is a national strategy for preventing, diagnosing and treating HIV and other STIs. You can download the programme here.

Last modification 20.02.2018

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