Russia: Students Should Turn to Classics, Not Classrooms, for Sex Ed

Russia’s Children ombudsman Pavel Astakhov has a decided opinion on traditional sex education – he doesn’t like it, and he does not believe it is necessary. According to him, Russian students already have unlimited resources if they wish to learn about sex – the immense Russian literature cannon of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Chekhov.

According to Astakhov, sex education classes corrupt Russian students and don’t belong in the classroom. This is despite the fact that both teen pregnancy and HIV infections are on the rise among the country’s young people. However, even these grim statistics aren’t enough to counteract the power of conservative social forces and the Russian Orthodox Church.

But Astakhov doesn’t want to leave young people without anywhere to turns for information, so he recommends that they seek the answers in the pages of Russian literature classics.

“The best sex education that exists is Russian literature,” said Astakhov. “In fact, literature in general. Everything is there, about love and about relationships between sexes. Schools should raise children chastely and with an understanding of family values.”

This is not the first time government officials have moved to protect the “innocence” of Russian children.
Over the summer, parliament passed a law to ensure children are not subjected to “gay propaganda”, which is defined as any information suggesting homosexuality is normal.

Astakhov was also a vocal advocate of the ban this year on the adoption of Russian children by US citizens.

Of course, not everyone is in agreement with the proposed “read to stay healthy” sex education approach. Rights groups all over the country and abroad believe that banning sex education from the classroom is exactly the wrong way to handle problems that threaten to overwhelm young people around the country. Shaun Walker of The Guardian reports that by the time Russians reach the age of 17, 90% of them are already sexually experienced. By blocking them from learning medically accurate information, the government makes it impossible for them to enjoy their sexuality safely and healthfully.

“The best sex education that exists is Russian literature,” said Astakhov. “In fact, literature in general. Everything is there, about love and about relationships between sexes. Schools should raise children chastely and with an understanding of family values.”

This is not the first time government officials have moved to protect the “innocence” of Russian children.
Over the summer, parliament passed a law to ensure children are not subjected to “gay propaganda”, which is defined as any information suggesting homosexuality is normal.

Astakhov was also a vocal advocate of the ban this year on the adoption of Russian children by US citizens.