Sex Education In Denmark Will Now Include Focus On Fertility

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After years of encouraging students in sex education classes to focus on how to use contraceptives, Denmark will begin to shift the curriculum to highlight how to have children in the face of dropping fertility rates.

Sex and Society, the Nordic county’s biggest provider of sex education materials for schools, has included “This is how you have children!” as a topic within the curriculum. The decision stems from a fertility “epidemic” in the country, according to secretary general of Sex and Society Bjame Christensen.

“We see more and more couples needing to get assisted fertility treatment,” Christensen said. “We see a lot of people who don’t succeed in having children.”

The curriculum, unveiled on Sunday, includes information for school children regarding the definition of fertility. It also includes information on the best time for having children and what the effects of age are on childbearing.

Denmark’s fertility rate is currently at its lowest in more than a quarter of a century, with only one in 10 children conceived after treatment. Health officials have urged the government to take on a larger role in the declining birth rate in order to prevent a larger demographic problem.

In addition to the new curriculum, Denmark’s Environment Ministry has been aiding Sex and Society in identifying factors that may depress birth rates. In one study, the non-profit group found that the quality of men’s semen has declined dramatically in the past quarter of a century.

Some have suggested that couples are delaying having children until later in life, which has a negative effect on their ability to conceive.

"We have a culture in Denmark where you tend to prolong the time to the first birth, and we are now passing 29 years, which means a lot of people have children a lot later," Christensen said.

Christensen added that the declining birth rate could have a negative effect on the aging populating. Though there are currently four people working for every person over 65, the ration is expected to drop to almost two to one by 2080.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald


 
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