You can be attracted to different people at the same time. But it doesn’t mean you’re in love with all of them.
Love and Sex Info
“I was introduced to my future husband by email, met him for the first time on Skype and married him two months later,” says Divya.
Divya got married two years ago to a match arranged by her father’s friend. According to her even though an arranged marriage doesn’t sound like the most romantic thing in the world, it’s the best decision she has made in her life.
Dutch-style sex education works, says Mariela Castro Espín, daughter of the Cuban president.
As head of Cuba’s National Centre for Sexual Education, she praised Holland’s approach – and Love Matters – at the World Congress for Sexual Health in Glasgow.
Mariela Castro is looking to break taboos in her country. And Cuba can learn a lot from the straight-talking Dutch approach, she told Radio Netherlands Worldwide.
The open way of talking about sex in the Netherlands, the early sex education, and the public campaigns to promote condom use all have a big payoff, says Mariela Castro. The country has a relatively low rate of unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases among young people, according to UN figures, she says.
The number of abortions in the Netherlands is also low, she points out. What’s more, young people actually start having sex at a later age then they do in countries with a lot of sexual taboos.
Gay and lesbian
There’s no reason the Dutch model can’t be exported to other countries, Mariela says. She’s planning a trip to the Netherlands this year as part of her efforts to introduce changes in Cuba. And she’s a fan of Love Matters, which now also has a Spanish version Hablemos de Amor ('talking about love').
Mariela also hinted that Cuba’s Communist Party may soon be ready to recognise gay and lesbian rights. Cuba has made a lot of progress on women’s rights, she says, so she asked her father why they couldn’t do the same thing for gay, lesbian and transgender people.
Of course it helps that her father is president, she says. Because of him the ruling Communist Party is already talking about legalising the position of homosexuals and passing laws against discrimination. The problem is that the party is running ahead of many of the population, according to the president.
“My father warned me that some things are so deeply rooted in our macho culture that you first have to you make it clear to the public that things need to change before you make new laws. So we’ll have to see how much progress we make on this by the party congress in January.”
And that won’t be an easy matter, she says, because the Cuban media aren’t keen on opening up the taboos. Everyone knows there’s a big problem with unplanned pregnancies among young Cuban women, but the papers don’t write about it.
So how can young people get hold of the right information? That’s where Mariela Castro hopes to pick up tips from the Netherlands.
Read more stories about sex education.
Love Matters in Spanish? See Hablemos de Amor
Would you like to see more Dutch-style openness about sexuality where you live?
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