Good advice not just for national policy but for life in general: If you find yourself in the company of someone who needs it carefully explained to them that rape is wrong, you’re probably better off not trying to cultivate that acquaintance.

Actual quote from a supervisor at the asylum center offering the course: With training, new arrivals will “at least know the difference between right and wrong.” As a Twitter pal said, what would the “precautionary principle” tell us to do about immigration in a situation like this?

A course manual sets out a simple rule that all asylum seekers need to learn and follow: “To force someone into sex is not permitted in Norway, even when you are married to that person.”

The first such program to teach immigrants about local norms and how to avoid misreading social signals was initiated in Stavanger, the center of Norway’s oil industry and a magnet for migrants, after a series of rapes from 2009 to 2011.

Henry Ove Berg, who was Stavanger’s police chief during the spike in rape cases, said he supported providing migrants sex education because “people from some parts of the world have never seen a girl in a miniskirt, only in a burqa.” When they get to Norway, he added, “something happens in their heads.”

“Men have weaknesses and when they see someone smiling it is difficult to control,” [Muslim refugee Abdu Osman] Kelifa said, explaining that in his own country, Eritrea, “if someone wants a lady he can just take her and he will not be punished,” at least not by the police.

Follow the link for the requisite ambiguity about whether immigrants from countries where women are treated like property commit more rapes than natives do. Germany’s interior minister naturally says no, but then, given Merkel’s open-borders policy, he has no choice. What would basic grade-school logic tell you about the relative propensities towards sexual violence of someone who’s been raised in a culture where rape is a serious crime and one where “if someone wants a lady he can just take her and he will not be punished”?

Another question: Given Europe’s assimilation problems, how many rapes are missing from the official stats? The best you can hope for from these lessons, I think, is that refugees come away understanding that a rape conviction will earn them a long sentence in one of those, uh, cushy, dorm-like Scandinavian prisons. You’re not going to undo decades of cultural indoctrination about women’s lower worth in one five-hour session, but you might scare them into concluding that if “something happens in their heads” to incline them towards rape, they’re taking a big risk in targeting a native Norwegian woman who might report them. What about women in their own communities, though? Norway has the same problems other European countries do in integrating Muslims; the more isolated those neighborhoods become, the greater the risk that they’ll follow their own customs behind closed doors there and that anyone who tries to bring in outside authorities will be punished. You can shrug that off, I guess, by saying that a woman stuck in a community like that is going to be abused whether she’s in Norway or in Eritrea or anywhere else. In that case, though, why should Norway provide a staging ground for it? If these norms of sexual respect aren’t going to be enforced on every inch of Norwegian territory, then they’re not really norms. They’re just the old custom. There are new customs now.

These training sessions are voluntary, by the way, so only the refugees who are already most eager to assimilate are being exposed to them. What happens to the men who couldn’t be bothered to sign up? Exit question: Is Norway already beginning to follow the “precautionary principle”? Read this.