Early, comprehensive sex education combined with easily available contraception have helped to give the Netherlands the lowest teenage pregnancy rate in the West. But these are not the only factors, nor the only benefits. By requiring mothers under 18 to live with their parents, the state leaves Dutch children in no doubt that a stigma attaches to teenage parenthood. While sex between teenagers is accepted as inevitable, they are also constantly urged to keep it safe and within loving relationships.
The results are little short of stunning. The average age at which teenagers in the Netherlands lose their virginity is almost 18, compared with 16 in Britain. Ninety-three per cent of sexually active Dutch teenagers use contraception, compared with barely half in Britain, and most cite love and commitment, rather than peer pressure, as their chief motivation.
God, those Dutch! Brilliant! So, the British government leaps into action, with:
The Government has announced that sex education in England and Wales must begin in primary school.
and, of course, wiring kids up for contraception:
It must also be right to promote long-acting reversible contraceptives (Larcs) such as intra-uterine devices, rather the Pill, given the evidence that the pill so often fails teenagers because they fail to take it.