Sexual Education in Cuba
October 9, 2013
By Carlos Fraguela
HAVANA TIMES — We could well say that we have no sexual education in
Cuba, that the thinking surrounding this issue continues to be medieval,
for it has yet to place itself in step with the times and, like all
taboos, all we can continue to expect is for sex-related issues to be
swept under the carpet.
Improving the sexual wellbeing of the population is also not in the
interests of those who decide and manage what materials are made
available to the population. After all, that could ultimately work
against their own interests.
Cuban society continues to reproduce a backward model which excludes a
broad spectrum of sexual preferences caught sight of in the island's
It would be far less hypocritical to acknowledge that the rigid,
monogamic, heterosexual family – that once monolithic unit – has ceased
to suit the needs and interests of most people around the world.
Acknowledging the broad diversity of preferences that characterizes the
majority would put an end to the tyrannical domination of human beings,
who have the right to choose whatever kind of life they wish.
A friend lent me a documentary series titled Sex Mundi. The series could
well spark off a sexual revolution if it were shown on television here
as a kind of invitation to Cubans, who could rediscover and enrich their
sex lives and acquire a sense of belonging. Cuban television programs
dealing with sexual matters strike me as very limited in comparison.
The documentary is very straightforward about different issues and
advances a number of proposals on the basis of different sexual customs
documented around the world. Unabashedly, it documents a highly
heterogeneous series of tendencies and presents these as concrete
examples of human diversity, accompanying this exploration with critical
comments and interviews with experts on human sexuality.
How many people in Cuba, today, feel excluded, feel like oddballs, for
failing to meet the expectations of a twisted and backward society?
Individuals need to break with the prejudiced schemes of the past in
order to be free, at least in this one dimension of our lives that no
one can meddle in today. Morality is an enemy of sexual freedom and does
not cease to demonize it.
I've heard say that, back in the days of the Military Units for
Production Support, Cuba's notorious UMAP forced-labor camps (where
homosexuals and political dissidents were sent to in the 1960s), one of
leaders of the revolution (I don't remember who) travelled to an Asian
country to ask for advice on how to deal with the "problem of
In that country, the official was told, in a very straightforward
manner, that they simply clubbed homosexuals to death and dropped them
in the river, for everyone to see – that this had made such a deep
impression on people that it had eliminated the "problem." I think the
Cuban official was horrified by the anecdote and I don't think that
piece of advice was of much use to the Cuban government (though the two
countries continue to be allies).
For the longest time, those in power have controlled, humiliated, judged
and even eliminated those who fall outside the heterosexual canon.
Who is unaware of what the majority of Cuban police officers think about
homosexuals, transvestite, prostitutes and even black people (who are
always harassed by them)? All of us are aware of how these figures of
authority – part of the repressive apparatus, when all is said and done
– operate. I am not saying they are the ones to blame for our situation,
they are merely ignorant.
Sexuality is a liberating, not a limiting, force. Responsible sex
connects us to other human beings and can teach us a lot about the value
of life, mitigating sadness and raising our self-esteem.
Source: "Sexual Education in Cuba - Havana Times.org" -