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The smart Dutch take on teen sex

January 22, 2011

by Tracy Clark-Flory

Despite parents’ allowing romantic sleepovers, the Netherlands has one of the lowest youth pregnancy rates

The Dutch could teach American parents a thing or two about the birds and the bees — namely, the virtues of respect and acceptance of teenage sexuality. I just stumbled across a fascinating study (via Sociological Images) that compares these divergent cultural attitudes toward doing the nasty (which, by the way, is much less likely to be cast as “nasty” or “dirty” in the Netherlands). The report, “Sex, Love, and Autonomy in the Teenage Sleepover” by sociologist Amy Schalet, spills plenty of ink describing the forbidding and fearful American view of premarital teen sex that is all too familiar to most of us stateside. It’s her description of parental attitudes in the Netherlands that really surprises, though.

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