Sex Education for Children in the Norway’s TV
A woman takes away a towel to a man who just got out of the shower. The scene takes place in a dressing room. After total nakedness, the girl takes a sit and without second thoughts starts touching every single part of his penis that, for the second time, occupies a 100% of the screen. Testicles are squished, rubbed with ice so they shrink; semen is studied with a microscope…
No, regardless of youtube’s warnings —‘‘this video could be inappropriate for some viewers’’— This is not a porn film. The sequence is part of ‘‘Newton’’, Norway’s national TV contribution for the children’s sexual education.
The adventure started past may in NRK chanel. By then, the Scandinavian estate’s national TV network launched «Pubertet», (which translates to «Puberty» in English), a mini series of eight chapters in which the most important aspects of this vital span are explained.
Topics such as growth, the voice change, body hair appearance, reproduction or sex, are brought to the child audience using an easy language, didactical and direct. Very direct. ‘‘We aim to be clear, that is why, to illustrate how a child’s body transforms to an adult’s one, we use real models’’. Said Erling Normann, responsible of «Newton»; the science show that decided to shock their audience by including this production. ‘‘We reject any can of sexual connotation’’ He adds.
A picture of a masculine part invades the TV. That’s how ‘‘The penis’’, the first episode, starts. This episode teaches the audience about the complexity of the men’s world. ‘‘Right now that you are a child, you’ll only use your «pipi» to pee. But eventually you’ll use if for something more’’. This is how Line Jansrud, the show’s host, says hello to the audience. She adopts a funny and approachable tone. Without any previous introduction, the lesson starts.
Topics such as the penis change of sizes, its different parts, body hair appearance, testicles growth, production of sperm or semen are explained through illustrations, pictures taken by microscopes, drawings on blackboards made by the journalist and real human bodies that she shows and touches without hesitation. All of this in no more than six minutes.
Another image, this time is a vagina, getting to the chapter «The vagina and menstruation». Again, Jansrud picks photos and models of real flesh and bones. They contribute to show the anatomy of the vagina or to show through drawings on the skin the location of the ovaries. Some minutes afterwards, aiming to show the different holes of the female womb, «Pubertet» shows a plastic model. To explain ovulation process, they choose to use eggs.
Regarding menstruation, the models step aside for a while, the host picks up a red liquid, some compresses and some tampons and uses them to represent its arrival, the risk of a pregnancy in case of an egg getting fecundated by a spermatozoon, what to do about the bleeding and the reasons behind the vaginal fluid that steins the underwear.
‘‘Pubertet’s advantage is that it is broadcast on national TV. Furthermore, chapters are uploaded on the internet. Any young person can access them’’ Argues Normann, who confesses to have watched the series with his eleven year old children. ‘‘They enjoyed the show and I took advantage of it so I could talk about sex with them’’ he adds.
As expected, and given its didactical function, the show doesn’t have age limits. It is fit for all audiences. ‘‘Norway’s media regulation establishes that a limitation will only take place if the content is harmful for young audience’’. This is what production responsible argues, and then he adds: ‘‘Pubertet doesn’t harm anyone. Quite the contrary’’.