Sexuality: for teenagers, the info is drawn on the internet more than at school

(AFP) – Finding out about contraception, pleasure or intimacy: in the often absence of sufficient information sessions at school, despite the fact that they are provided for by law, adolescents turn to the internet and sometimes pornography to learn about sexuality.

“Before the Third, we did not talk about it at all”, testifies Louise, 15, in Second in Lot-et-Garonne. “This year, nurses came to class”, but “I think it should happen earlier”, she believes, “some had received ideas”.

Since 2001, the law provides that “information and education on sexuality are provided in schools, colleges and high schools at the rate of at least three annual sessions”.

However, as highlighted by a survey carried out by the feminist collective #NousToutes with more than 10,000 people, published at the start of the year, this obligation is “absolutely not applied”. Respondents say they have benefited “on average only 13%” of the number of sessions planned, i.e. 2.7 instead of 21 over the entire schooling.

“There are no slots planned” and “the teachers are not trained”, explains Diane Richard, member of the collective, for whom the courses are “very oriented biology” and little on “emotional relations”.

In fact, these interventions often come down to SVT (Life and Earth Sciences) teachers, school nurses, family planning workers or other associations.

But the equation is difficult. “We have less and less institutionalized time”, to talk about it in parallel with the programs, laments David Boudeau, president of the APBG (Association of Biology-Geology Teachers) and SVT teacher.

Same story on the side of the nurses. “It was already insufficient before, but with the health crisis, there is a whole generation for whom it is a problem” because “what was stripped in school was health education” , notes Saphia Guereschi, general secretary of Snics-FSU, the majority union of school nurses.

However, for her, these sessions are “essential”. “Young people really need to have access to simple and reassuring health education,” she considers. “Talking about your own sexuality or your questions to your parents is very difficult”.

– “Pleasure of the gentlemen” –

How to flirt? What are the signs of sexual pleasure? Questions difficult to verbalize. For Syrine, 16, a high school student in the Paris region, who mainly gets information through her reading, “it’s natural, I don’t see why we would make it a taboo”.

To find answers, most teenagers explore the internet on their smartphones, see health professionals and associations. Forums, specialized sites or Instagram accounts such as “T’as joui” and “Je m’enbat le clit”: the resources are multiple, of various quality.

As a result, “teenagers are very informed but not always well informed, you have to sort it out,” said Sarah Durocher, co-president of Family Planning, which operates in 3,000 establishments a year. “These spaces that we create, where they can ask what information they have had, question it and criticize it, it’s very important”.

Boys and girls also turn to pornography, easily accessible on the internet, although the penal code prohibits exposing minors to this type of image. Several sites have recently been ordered to comply with the law. And, justice will examine on May 24 the total blocking of five of them, who did not react to this injunction.

Léa, 20, remembers that “many” college students had recourse to porn, conveying the idea of ​​a sexuality “focused solely on the pleasure of gentlemen”.

For the clinical psychologist, Béatrice Copper-Royer, pornography sends teenagers a “very reductive” vision of sexuality, “based on performance” and the submission of women. “The girls feel like they have to bend to these dogmas, they are often far from what they want, it’s worrying.”

The feminist association En Avant Tout(s) makes a similar observation. “As there are no benchmarks, no models of healthy sexuality, young people do not know what is normal or not”, describes its spokesperson Louise Delavier.

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Sexuality: for teenagers, the info is drawn on the internet more than at school

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