Geneva, Switzerland (Le Temps, Fre) – “Zizi sexuel, l’expo,” an exhibition at Geneva’s Palexpo 2 April-28 June, uses a popular French cartoon character called Titeuf to portray the natural curiosity and confusion that children feel when confronted with questions about love and sex. More than 20,000 students from the Lake Geneva region have been invited to the exhibit.
It ran up against some objections from parents, notably a conservative Catholic group, when the exhibit opened in France, so in Switzerland school authorities must obtain consent from parents before taking students to the exhibtion. In the end, it proved to be extremely popular in France.
Exhibition organizers, the Hans Wilsdorf foundation and the Geneva Department of Public Instruction, says it provides a safe environment for children to find answers to their questions on love and sex.
Titeuf, created by Zep and Helene Bruller, offers a safe, non-threatening contrast to the graphic sexual images and lyrics designed for adults to which television and radio programme expose children from a very early age.
(Ed. note: the article in Le Temps includes an interview, provided by the exhibition’s organizers, with Swiss child psychiatrist François Ansermet on how children learn about sex and love.)