What S.E.T.s these countries apart?

Koushita Gouri Reddy V -

Hey everyone!


This week has been crazy in terms of research!

I’ve done an overview of the curriculums in Australia, Norway, China, and Japan. They have certain parts that overlap but also have some parts that make each unique to the population/culture of each.



  • covers a wide range of topics (puberty, sexual health, contraception, relations, consent, gender identity, etc)
  • inclusive (discussions on LGBTQ+)
  • starts in primary school
  • includes demonstrations on use of contraceptives
  • emphasis on involving parents (schools sometimes provide resources on topics to discuss at home)



  • starts in primary school
  • holistic approach (addresses both the biological aspects of sexuality and emotional, social, and relational aspects)
  • gender equality (focus on mutual respect and consent)
  • respect for sexual orientations, gender identities, and family structure (acceptance, tolerance and understanding)
  • communication techniques, decision-making, and information about contraceptives and sexual health services
  • slightly uses parental involvement but focuses on role of schools and trained professionals



  • cultural and social context (influxes but rational cultural values thus prioritizing modesty, abstinence, and traditional gender roles)
  • more focus on biological side than social impacts
  • topics such as puberty, contraception, and STIs tend to be the bulk of the curriculum (less on diversity)
  • parents are often expected to play a significant role in education their children (less reliance on school)



  • children start learning basics anatomy, reproduction and personal hygiene in elementary school
  • emphasizes traditional values/morals/social norms (respect, responsibility, and self-discipline)
  • students encourages development of healthy attitudes, values, and communication skills
  • collaboration between  schools, parents, communities, and healthcare professionals
  • sensitive to cultural norms and values (addresses topics in a way that is culturally relevant and acceptable)


Through this research I was able to put a few things into my curriculum:

  1. Starting early (and growing from there) thus possibly creating a curriculum with a wider age range
  2. Leaving space for parental involvement
  3. Specifically looking at Japan and China, researching more into how they take into account the cultural viewpoints
  4. Importance of holistic approach


As my advisor had advised me, it’s okay to not have a huge data pool for this topic as many curriculums tend to be repetitive thus I plan on looking more in depth into these 4 countries rather than taking into account more and more.


Tom Robbins once said “our similarities bring us to a common ground; our differences allow us to be fascinated by each other.” In terms of each country’s curriculum, there are both similarities and differences, I hope to find something to make India’s just as fascinating.


Thank you for reading!

  • Koushita 

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    Hi Koushita! It looks like you're doing great work. What would you say is the importance of starting early? Do you personally think there should be involvement from home when teaching kids? What are the benefits or reasons not to?
    Jen Smetanick
    Hi Koushita, I love how you creatively incorporated S.E.T. in all your post titles and always put a reflective quote at the end of each post. Great job! Thank you for listing the key points from four very different countries. I agree that starting early allows the curriculum to grow gradually and garner support from parents for successful implementation. What age range is ideal to start your curriculum?
    Hey Koushita, as seen through your research parental involvement is a large part of a good sex education system. How do you think we can encourage Indian parents to work with/adopt this curriculum when India is a country with lots of stigma around this topic?
    Hi Sowmithra! Thank you! I would say that starting early is important for two main reasons. 1. The content would be easier to grasp as it isn’t being thrown all at the same time 2. A less common reason but just as important, children tend to be the most vulnerable population. Additionally, there would be involvement from home as that currently how many learn. I recently learned that many girls only learn about what their menstrual cycle is once it starts and from their mothers.
    Hi Ms. Smetanick! I’m so glad you noticed, thank you! I was struggling with trying to figure out the age range but I decided that the curriculum would be more flexible for age ranges, meaning the topic could be taught at any range (starting at 8 which would be 2nd/3rd grade). There would be an age range for each topic which would be grouped in almost elementary, middle, and high school.
    Hi Ayushi! That’s a wonderful question! Encouragement and motivation is definitely a key part in any movement/change. I aim to fight this stigma through the beliefs that many hold through religion. To be more specific, many religious (and even non-religious) individuals have personal values and morals that tend to be similar in communities, I plan to use this and connect it to the importance of sex education.

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