Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Black Dutch people in the media

There are many positive examples of the portrayal of black people in the Dutch media, but some of them are a bit questionable. One example is the recently launched sexual awareness campaign.

The purple text box reads: Your child And Sex, which is also the name of the site. On the left banner there is information about Aids and SOA, Dutch for Sexually transmitted diseases. The site your child and sex is for parents and teachers.

The site is part of the social media campaign “Maak sex lekker duidelijk“ (Make sex clear), which is launched on November 1st and is aimed to empower young people to protect themselves against unwanted sexual behavior.

It is the first Dutch campaign to promote the sexual health of young people. It’s initiated by the Dutch Ministry of Health and Education.

Good initiative. But why are there so many images of black people in the campaign? In the big cities in the Netherlands black young people unfortunately are an at risk group when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases, but this campaign is not specifically targeted at black young people.

The picture with the black boy and the white girl looks more like a wake-up call for parents and teachers.

The reality is that on the site the black boy, and other young people, give advice to parents and teachers on how to deal with these problems and dilemmas. But somehow the image of a young black male seems to be used to trigger the attention about the problems of Aids and sexually transmitted diseases.

To end, the promotional picture of the campaign with the boy and his tongue sticking out. The text on booklet reads, I'm ready for more, but you are the boss.


  1. Just to give right information: our campaign is not focussing on sexual transmitted diseases, but on promoting sexual awareness among young people to set their own boundaries, about sex. Make your own choices, is the message. We portrayed young people of different etnic background to explicitely include everybody.
    For parents, to whom the website is adressed, the message is: talk with your children abont sexuality. Help them clarify their own choices and diminish their risk of being confronted with transgressing of their own or their sexual partner sexual boundaries.

  2. RNG, thanks for the explaination.

  3. I am a black english male, and i must admit, i found nothing wrong with the image, i look at images like this in a different light, to me it shows a multicultural society making everybody whether race culture or creed aware of an issue. I think there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to campaigning about equality, target those that do nothing, NOT those you think are not doing enough!!


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