School tackles sex education: toilet paper pictured on stalls

AMAGASAKI, Hyogo Prefecture – A city-run primary school‘s The decision to give her students an early start in sex education gave rise to a new approach: toilet paper in the toilet adorned with explanations on topics such as menstruation, ejaculation and other bodily functions. .

The idea behind Mizudo Primary School’s strategy here is to broaden children’s horizons on issues ranging from sexual diversity and consent to what constitutes sexual violence, through flippant phrases and illustrations.

Getting to know your own body means valuing yourself and others at the same time, ”said Chika Kojima, the school principal. “This is essential in terms of human rights education.”

The school held a ceremony on November 9 to mark the introduction of 400 rolls of toilet paper created by Nanase Tsuruta, leader of a group called Sowledge in Kakegawa, Shizuoka Prefecture, who developed unusual educational materials in 2019.

The donations covered the costs of the toilet paper rolls.

Tsuruta said the design of the paper scrolls was based on expert advice from doctors and other sex education specialists, in line with UNESCO’s international technical guidelines on sex education.

Tsuruta, 26, is all too aware of the dangers of exposing a child to unwelcome sexual advances. She remembered that she had been inappropriately touched on a street by a stranger while in college and was terrified. But she felt unable to tell others about the incident in detail.

At university, a friend said she had been sexually abused. In another case, a female student had an unwanted pregnancy and, as a result, abandoned the dead child on campus.

These experiences prompted Tsuruta to try and find ways to help people who were struggling due to their lack of knowledge about sexual matters.

Seeking to provide basic sex education in everyday life, Tsuruta came up with the idea of ​​designing toilet paper rolls with explanations and illustrations to teach others how to protect their bodies.

His idea is that those in the toilet can browse a roll in a stall without anyone looking at them. An added benefit of placing this type of material in a public facility is that it can also prove useful for those who are not particularly interested, she said.

According to Tsuruta, Mizudo Primary School is the first at this level in Japan to introduce toilet paper on a large scale, although some high school and extracurricular daycare operators have purchased rolls.

After Tsuruta gave training courses to staff of the government of Amagasaki city, the municipality decided to integrate the design of toilet paper into its “sex education for children to ensure that they are properly. informed on these issues in order to help them protect their rights ”.

Tsuruta, who moved to Amagasaki last August, welcomed the move, saying she believes it is vital that children start learning sex education while they are still in primary school. .

She pledged to speed up her efforts to disseminate the use of the material.

A pack of four rolls of toilet paper is available on the Sowledge website ( from 2,980 yen ($ 26). Organizations as well as individuals can make purchases.

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