Since 1991, the German publishing house Loewe Verlag and the family planning group Pro Familia has sold their popular sex education book titled “Wo kommst du her?” (“Where Do You Come From”) to grade schools across Germany. The book, which is targeted to students as young as 5 years old, came under fire recently when parents of some first-graders at a Berlin elementary school discovered the sexually explicit images throughout the book and felt it went too far for kids of that age.
The book follows two characters, Lisa and Lars, as they go through the process of having sex and ultimately giving birth to a baby. There is an extensive amount of nudity in the book, including imagery of putting on a condom, and explicit text. (Spiegel Online has put a gallery of the more questionable NSFW illustrations on their site)
“The vagina and penis feel nice and tingly and warm.,” and “When it’s so good that it can’t get any better, Lisa and Lars have an orgasm,” are two examples of the detailed explanations of intercourse found in the book.
Spiegel Online spoke to a representative from Loewe Verlag and was told that “Wo kommst du her?” will not be reissued in the future. The decision was apparently not related to the controversy but because the “text and illustrations are no longer up to date.” A new book on the topic of sexual education titled “War ich auch in Mamas Bauch?” (“Was I Also In Mommy’s Stomach?”), which was done by the same author/illustrator, has instead been released to replace the book in question.
Germany is known to be less conservative on the topic of sex when compared to the United States, and the debate surrounding the book seems to stem more from the imagery rather than the topic of sexual education itself. We’re unsure why it has taken 22 years for the book to be dropped from the curriculum of German elementary schools, but it could be a sign of Germany becoming a little more conservative when it comes to topics such as sex.
If some of our German readers have any insight into this we would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment with your thoughts or observations on this topic.
Sources: Spiegel Online
Photos by Loewe Verlag / Dagmar Geisler