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The NVSH (Dutch Society for Sexual Reform) aims to contribute to the sexual emancipation of individual and social life. Our main activity is the promotion of knowledge and understanding of sexual behaviour in the widest possible sense.
Holland is the only country in the world which has an association specifically dedicated to sexual reform. We started out as a Neo-Malthusian League, which opened the first birth control clinic in the world in 1881. In 1946 the present name was adopted and a broader range of targets was formulated. Up to the sixties, a great deal of energy went into building up the organisation, which ran 60 clinics and reached a membership high of 220,000 in 1966. Also much work was put into improving the quality of contraceptives (condom, diaphragm and spermicidal jelly) and introducing the contraceptive pill.
At the heart of the 'sexual revolution', we formulated targets such as:
Some of these goals have been partially attained, others remain as difficult as they were, while others again have suffered a backlash in the reactionary period that followed the end of the seventies.
Sex education in schools, for instance, is as difficult, if not impossible, as it was before. From time to time campaigns or short programmes are introduced into schools, usually because of some public concern, e.g. teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections or sexual abuse. These negative approaches are a far cry from systematic all-year round elucidation, rational discussion and positive attitude building, which require time and effort at every level.
Sexual reform remains necessary
Sexual reform thus remains necessary for many years to come, especially now that the world is moving towards a crisis of pollution, war and human suffering as a result of overpopulation, which itself is due to a blind following of the reproductive imperative so characteristic of sexual backwardness. Positive developments are the increased scientific understanding of human nature, the emancipation of children, and the postponement or rejection of pregnancy by many young adults, which allows for more experimentation and freedom in relationships and may lead to an entirely new and better morality.
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