The globalisation of european sex education in the 21st century


  • Laura Alonso-Martínez Universidad de Burgos, Facultad de Educación, Burgos, España
  • Madalena Cunha Instituto Politécnico de Viseu, Escola Superior de Saúde, Viseu, Portugal | Health Sciences Research Unit: Nursing - UICISA:E, ESEnfC, Coimbra | SIGMA – Phi Xi Chapter, ESEnfC, Portugal | CIEC - UM, Braga, Portugal



Sexuality education is an evidence-based teaching and learning process that addresses attitudes, behaviours, and beliefs related to sexual health and sexuality. This education must be adapted individually and collectively, and be based on promoting respect for Human Sexual Rights. Sexuality education is essential for building more inclusive societies and improving the sexual health of the population. It is important to understand the impact of legislation on the establishment of the educational curriculum at different levels of education. The government, through education, should contribute to reducing sexual discrimination and risky sexual behaviour. There is a wide range of sexuality education content around the world. Nevertheless, the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda approved by the United Nations (UN, 2015) set out the joint path to be followed by countries and the different societies that make them up. The goals to be achieved are aimed at improving the lives of all citizens, including the objectives of health and well-being, quality education and women's equality. In addition to these global targets, numerous international organisations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO, 2022) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2018), have repeatedly called on governments to improve equitable access to sexuality education and health programmes. Existing inequalities by country remain stark and negatively influence the health of their residents (WHO, 2021). In most countries where such education is provided, its main purpose is usually aimed at preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs, Boonstra, 2015). Therefore, the mandatory and regulated content of the curriculum is oriented towards STI control and contraception, and even so this restrictive approach fails to address the challenge related to the increase in risky sexual behaviour and STIs. The difficulty of addressing this issue internationally requires the establishment of collaborative Global Health strategies between countries (UNESCO, 2018)


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How to Cite

Alonso-Martínez, L. ., & Cunha, M. (2023). The globalisation of european sex education in the 21st century . Millenium - Journal of Education, Technologies, and Health, 2(20), e28786.