A ‘sex box’ for primary school aged children which includes a wooden penis and a fabric vagina has sparked a storm of controversy in Switzerland.
The box is to be used as part of a radical new sex education programme for primary school aged kids in Basel.
A teachers’ guide says that teachers should “show that contacting body parts can be pleasurable”.
It also suggests that they should get pupils to massage each other or to rub themselves with warm sand bags, all accompanied by soft music.
Daniel Schneider, a deputy kindergarten rector for Basel who helped develop the programme, said: “Children should be encouraged to develop and experience their sexuality in a pleasurable way”.
The programme’s materials include a teachers’ guide, dolls, puzzles and books for four- to ten-year-olds, and a box with the more explicit materials for older children.
After receiving some 3,000 letters of complaint from parents, officials in Basel have decided to rename the “sex box”.
Christoph Eymann, Basel education minister, said: “It was no doubt stupid to call it a ‘sex box’ – we will change that.
“But we will stick to our goal: to get across to children that sexuality is something natural. Without forcing anything upon them or taking anything away from their parents”.
Some parents have called for their children to be exempted from the controversial lessons, but Mr Eymann is opposed to such a move.
He has, though, ordered the contents of the box to be examined after finding the cover of previous teaching material tasteless.
In March an MP said that sex education resources in Britain should be licensed to ensure they are age-appropriate, following concern among parents about “inappropriate” materials.
Andrea Leadsom’s comments came in the same month that The Christian Institute released a report highlighting shocking resources being pushed by public bodies for use in schools.
One such resource encourages primary school pupils to learn about anal intercourse, oral sex and prostitution.