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How The Danish Educate Their Kids About Sex

How The Danish Educate Kids About Sex

Are you ready to talk about the birds and the bees with your kids? Or more importantly, are they ready to hear all the details? Danish descendant Sara*, who was raised in America, believes American parents should take a leaf out of her Danish parents’ book and discuss it in an open, honest way.

“My parents immigrated to America from Denmark, so I had a bit of a different upbringing than my peers,” she wrote on a recent Reddit post. “My parents were always completely open with me about sex. When I asked where babies come from they told me in the most clinical and simple way you can tell a young child and showed me a kids book they had which explained all about puberty and sex and even showed a cartoon penis in [three] stages: about to penetrate, mid-penetration, and fully penetrating and ejaculating. I wish I’d kept it for when I’m having the talk [with my children], but as it was in Danish and I can’t read Danish it [would] be a picture book anyway.”

How Babies are made
Danish writer, teacher and psychotherapist Per Holm Knudsen is the author and illustrator of How Babies Are Made, which was released in 1971 – long before IVF was readily available and same-sex couples could bring children into the world. Image: Per Holm Knudsen

Sara, who goes by the Reddit name of AuroraSinistra, believes one of the great sins American parents make is not being open about sex.

“I told my parents about my first kiss, the first time I let a boy touch my breasts, and the first time I rubbed my hand on the outside of a boy’s shorts and felt him hard underneath,” she explained. “There were many conversations with my parents, each with the central theme that I should never let myself be pressured into anything and that it was 100% okay to do sexual things if they were my choice and I wanted them to happen. They also always reminded me not to make choices in the heat of the moment and to consider internally if I wanted it for myself or to make the boy happy.”

Video based on the original book How a Baby is Made written and illustrated by Per Holm Knudsen. Produced and Directed by: Mark Schoen.

Sara says as a child she openly asked her parents if they had sex and they replied honestly. They told me they did frequently, but only when I was asleep or out of the house,” she wrote. “Being a silly girl, I asked if I could watch and got the explanation on boundaries and it being a private thing between two people.”

Unlike many teenagers who go experience there first sexual experience without the counsel and support of parents, Sara’s experience was with their approval.

“I lost my virginity in my own bed with my parents’ knowledge it was going to happen in advance. They were kind enough to bugger off for the night and let me have the house to myself. The next day I talked with them about what happened [and] how I felt physically and emotionally. Looking back, I can’t imagine having been forced to lose my virginity in secret, with no counselling from my parents about what to expect. Likely in a car or some strange bedroom at a party… and then having to keep it a secret after.”

“I know it seems weird to most Americans, of which I am one, to have this sort of relationship with your parents, but for me it was the best and I can’t imagine a better relationship with my parents. I’ve talked [about] bad oral sex experiences with my [mum] and joked with my dad about having to fake orgasms with some boys I’ve dated. To most people we’re probably a weird family, but to me we’re perfect.”

While Sara doesn’t have children herself, she knows how she’ll be discussing the subject when she does.

“When I have kids I hope to raise them the same way I was raised. In an open environment where sex is part of life, not a forbidden secret that’s gross and taboo to talk about.”

Written by Franki Hobson

Franki Hobson has worn many hats during her many years as a women's lifestyle journalist and editor. Her launching pad was COSMOPOLITAN magazine, where she moved from News & Entertainment Editor to Features Director, covering everything from the legalisation of the Morning After Pill to Gwen Stefani, fashion, beauty, sex, health, fitness, entertainment and relationships.

Franki Hobson is a contributing lifestyle writer for The Carousel.

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