Have you ever heard of the Norwegian sex education show? Norwegian public broadcaster NRK created a special puberty series on ‘Newton’, its popular science program for kids aged 8 to 12 years old. So it provides a very straight-forward approach to puberty and sex. But this Norwegian sex education show has upset quite a few parents who see it as being sexually explicit.
They are a wonderful resource that you can use to start a conversation with your tween about puberty and sex. But I do suggest that you watch them first yourself, as you may find the information and imagery too explicit. And if you do, that is totally fine. These videos were created for Norwegians who have a very open approach to sexuality, and where sex education is taught in schools from a young age. So don’t be surprised if you do find them too confronting! They are also quite funny and the presenter, Line Jansrud, uses humour throughout the video.
What I really like about these videos is the straightforward approach to puberty, sex and our bodies.
Now, before you head off to watch them, the videos are subtitled in English, which means that they are a little hard to watch unless you speak Norwegian. So when watching them with your tween, you may want to turn the audio down (or off), and you read the sub-titles aloud whilst your tween watches the video. Otherwise, your tween may focus more on the images and totally miss the information that goes with it. Which means that they may not understand what they are seeing. Plus the sub-titles is what turns these videos into education, instead of an opportunity to just giggle and laugh. And be prepared for some possible embarrassment from either yourself or your tween!
And even if you decide that they are too much for your child, watch them yourself as they will provide you with lots of information about puberty and provide you with a great example of a straightforward approach. Information that you can then share with your tween afterwards.
You will find the videos listed down below with some tips on how to use them with your child. And please, YOU MUST WATCH THESE VIDEOS FIRST BY YOURSELF ie not with your child as they are confronting.
These videos have been shared via the NRK Channel on Youtube.
The first Norwegian sex education show video is quite short, about 5 minutes, and provides an overview as to what puberty is and how it starts. And yes, there are images of penises, vulvas, breasts, menstrual blood and some fake squeezy-bottle semen.
The second Norwegian sex education show video is also quite short, about 4 minutes, and it provides a lot of information about breasts. It talks about why we have breasts (to feed a baby), what they are made of and how they grow. The presenter, Line Jansrud, normalises the fact that breasts grow in all shapes and sizes as well as unevenly. She also talks about bras and why you may want to wear one.
The third Norwegian sex education show video is about 5 minutes, and talks about the penis. It talks about how the hormones work, why the penis grows, the foreskin and other parts, pubic hair, the scrotum, sperm, erections, wet dreams and much more. The presenter, Line Jansrud, normalises the fact that penises come in many different sizes and that unwanted erections happen to all boys.
The fourth Norwegian sex education show video is just under 5 minutes, and talks about body hair. It talks about how the hormones create hair and the fact that we are already covered in hair, which then changes during puberty. The video also talks about the different places that we grow hair, why we are all different, and how the hair changes through puberty.
The fifth Norwegian sex education show video is just over 5 minutes, and is about how the body grows and the voice changes. It talks about the fact that our muscles and bones also grow during puberty, making us bigger and stronger. Fat is talked about and how it is important for girls to develop fat, as it means that they will have periods and be able to make a baby. It also talks about how the larynx grows and why it changes your voice.
The sixth Norwegian sex education show video is just 6 minutes long and is about how the vagina and menstruation (or periods). Information is given about what the different holes and parts down there, are for. It talks about how the hormones work to start a period as well as the different stages of ovulation, menstruation and fertilisation. Information is also given about how to absorb the blood, how much blood is lost, the colours of menstrual blood and the fact that period means no baby has been made.
The seventh Norwegian sex education show video is just over 5 minutes long and is about zits and sweat. Information is given about what causes these things, why they happen and how to manage them. There is some great suspense with some pus filled pimple, about to burst!!!!
The eighth Norwegian sex education show video is just under 8 minutes long and is about the love, sex and relationships of puberty. So it talks about how the brain and how your feelings will change, meaning that you might start to think about people in a special way. So you may start thinking about a boy, or a girl or even both. Information is given about making out, with a tomato being used to show how you might ‘tongue-kiss’ someone. With a penis and vulva model, masturbation is discussed, with examples of how you might do this and why. Sexual intercourse is also shown, with a very straightforward example of how it actually all works as well as advice that there is no great rush to be sexual.
If you have any doubts about the Norwegian sex education show, then the creators have provided some fantastic information to support their contentious approach to child education.
I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and to empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. You can join my online parent support group here and visit my shop for helpful resources.