Sex Has Many Accents

AROUND THE WORLD, THERE ARE ALMOST AS MANY WAYS TO TEACH SEX AS there are languages. At the two extremes are the conservative attitude in Japan and the bold approach in Scandinavian countries.

The Japanese seem embarrassed to discuss sex. Parents avoid the subject, though their offspring, like adolescents everywhere, are obsessed with it. "My parents aren't stiffs," allows Ayumi Suzuki, 17, from Togane, near Tokyo, "but it's just not something to talk about with them. I just talk about it with friends." Admits Yumiko Kaga, the mother of two adolescent daughters: "We never discuss sex at home. I feel we...

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