Sweden Makes Sex Info Films for Immigrants
Sweden's government has funded a series of films to teach immigrant women about sex, their sexual organs, and their reproductive rights.
The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU), a sexual charity, has so far made eleven films, which are currently being translated into 14 different languages.
The animated films, the first of which were put online at the end of March, cover all aspects of sex from pure enjoyment, with titles such as "Lust and Pleasure", and "Female Genitalia", to pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion and female genital mutilation.
"We want it to be absolutely not condescending, or demeaning, we want it to be empowering, that in Sweden you have these rights," Magdalena Abrahamsson, who led the project, told The Local.
The videos, which are closer to slide shows than films, communicate Sweden's matter-of-fact approach to sex in Arabic, Dari, Somali, Persian, Northern and Central Kurdish, English and other languages.
"For some people the most pleasurable thing is to be stroked all over," says the narrator in Lust and Pleasure, "while others enjoy putting something in the vagina."
The video then goes on to describe how the clitoris becomes erect during sexual arousal, masturbation, and the use of lubricants, ending with a message on the importance of good communication with your sexual partner and being "open and curious."
Abrahamsson said RFSU had not found that women newly arrived from sexually conservative countries like Somalia, Afghanistan or Syria, experienced the material as embarrassing or offensive.
"We did not find that there were any difficulties, rather we’ve had a very positive response, that people think it’s very exciting, interesting, and important to get hold of this information," she said.
On Thursday Social Minister Annika Strandhäll announced that that project would receive a further 3.7 million kronor ($416,000) in funding.
"We have established that some of the women in this group of new arrivals come from societies with completely different norms, rules and laws," she told Sweden's TT newswire.
"This project will give this group of women a better chance to understand sexual and reproductive rights in Sweden."
With the new funding, RFSU aims to translate the films into more language, and also to design a set of tailored courses aimed at interpreters.
This follows feedback from midwives and gynaecologists in Sweden, who told RFSU that translators very often lack the terminology or background knowledge to discuss sexual health.
The organization also plans to educate a group of "peer educators" who speak some of the 14 languages, who can then pass the knowledge on to others in their communities.