Egypt has become perhaps the first Arab country to include sex education in the school curriculum.
Local media reported that the Egyptian education ministry has ordered directorates to integrate concepts of sexual education, sexual harassment, and sexual violence into the basic education curriculum
The move is an aim to protect children following increasing public concern that they may imitate “deviant” sexual behaviors – which many in Egypt consider to include homosexuality – as children watch content online, according to Sada El Balad and Egypt Independent.
Egypt has banned films containing homosexual references and its Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR) recently issued new regulations on “online streaming platforms such as Netflix and Disney”, to ensure content adheres to “societal norms and values”.
This comes as the SCMR announced the number of subscribers on streaming platforms in Egypt has witnessed “large and unprecedented increases”.
The ministry of education has reportedly instructed educational directorates to place posters that raise awareness of the dangers of so-called abnormal sexual behaviors in schools across the country.
The concepts in the updated curriculum are due to be integrated with the help of psychological and social specialists, alongside religious education teachers.
Many parents had reportedly requested such an outcome, to counteract their fears following increased harassment and homosexual references in the media, Dr. Tamer Shawky, educational expert and professor of educational psychology told Sada El Balad.
Films with homosexual references banned in the country include Pixar’s Lightyear and Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Though homosexuality is not explicitly prohibited by law in Egypt, it is highly taboo, and members of the LGBTQ community are often prosecuted under charges of “immorality” and “debauchery.”
Authorities also regularly arrest gay men, with large police raids on private parties or locations such as public baths, restaurants, and bars.