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Myths surround youth sexuality

Young people in Switzerland are not more sexually experienced than their peers of 20 years ago, says a report by the federal commission for child and youth affairs.

This content was published on October 16, 2009 - 11:05

The study, presented in Bern on Friday, showed that a majority of young Swiss do not have sex until they are at least 17.

The commission said sensational cases of youth sexual assault or teenage pregnancies could give the impression that youth today are struggling with sexual behaviour.

For these reasons, Nancy Bodmer, lead author of the report, said sex education in Switzerland needs to rely on parents as well as institutions to combat myths.

More specifically, the commission has recommended that parents and schools find a balanced treatment of youth sexuality based on respective developmental ages.

Sweeping statements should be replaced with a more nuanced and respectful view of all aspects of development by trusted people both inside and outside the home, she said.

No one should be exempt from sex education classes, regardless of religious or cultural reasons, the report added.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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