What We Can Learn From The Dutch About Sex

Answer: Just about everything. According to a review of a new book coming out by author Amy Schalet, Americans should be taking some advice from the much more liberal Dutch in regards to sexual behavior in both teens and adults. Schalet was born in the US but raised in the Netherlands, and says she was shocked to see the state of sex in her home land when she returned at age 21. Teen pregnancy rates are eight times higher here, abortion rates twice as high, and the AIDS rate is three times greater here. What are the Dutch doing differently than us? Not tying their teenage girls to chairs and forcing them to accept abstinence, that’s for sure.

A few of the points Schalet believes may be the cause behind this phenomenon:

1) Parents in the Netherlands are much more open with their teens about sex, whereas in America they tend to be quiet and uncomfortable with the subject.

2) Birth control was widely used among teens starting in the seventies, lowering the teen pregnancy rate.

3) “Coming out of the sexual revolution, the Dutch really decoupled sex from marriage, but they didn’t decouple sex from love.” (Our favorite one right there.)

4) America believes that teen boys are incapable of love, and therefore sex between teens is supposedly just about hormones. Instead of just telling teens that they only true form of love is marriage, America should be accepting of many different types of loving relationships.

5) The idea behind Dutch law is “we permit so can control,” which is shown in their attitudes towards marijuana and prostitution legalization, whereas in America we often believe if you let a person smoke a joint it will lead to heroin addiction.

Over at TIME magazine you can read even more about Schalet’s recommendations to parents who want to have children capable of healthy, loving relationships, as well as to all society to promote a society that doesn’t view sex as taboo. I don’t know about you, but I am starting to feel a little trip to Scandinavia pretty soon. Anyone else in?