Sex education: Bucharest backpedals
Under pressure from the Romanian Orthodox Church, the parliament in Bucharest has partially revoked the compulsory sex education classes that were only introduced in March in Romania. Pupils now need the consent of their parents to attend, and the subject has been renamed "Health Education". Romania is among those EU countries with the highest number of teenage mothers. Commentators argue that sex education is urgently needed.
Schools must be free of ideology
Sex education does not interfere with the free exercise of religion, political analyst Oana Băluţă stresses in Adevărul:
“Compulsory sex education does not restrict parents in their freedom to educate their children according to their faith. Parents are free to do so after school and on weekends. The state, on the other hand, must offer an objective, scientific, pluralistic education without indoctrination. If we were to abandon the scientific nature of education, we would not have much left to teach at school. Because people would always feel that their religious and philosophical convictions were being trampled on.”
What we are closing our eyes to
The fact that sex is such a taboo topic in Romania allows sexual assaults to go undetected, writes child rights activist Mirela Oprea in republica.ro:
“We can't, don't want to and don't know how to talk openly about the fact that a penis that enters a vagina and leaves sperm there can lead to the birth of a child. This is how it has always 'occurred'. There's no mystery about it, no secret. We can't, don't want to and don't know how to talk openly about contraceptive methods. About how girls can say no if they don't want to have sex. About how no one has the right to touch someone in a way they don't like. About the fact that there are laws that protect children from sex criminals. We convey purity and virginity, although we know very well that people are interested in sex from a very young age because that's how our physiology and anatomy work.”