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How can schools improve sex education?

09:20 UK time, Friday, 23 July 2010

Lessons about sex, relationships and health are not good enough in 25% of schools in England, inspectors say. Do you think standards could be improved?

Teacher embarrassment and lack of knowledge were often to blame, Ofsted said. The report went on to say that in many secondary schools, pupils were taught about the biology of sex but not relationships

The government says all young people should have high-quality teaching in this area and it will take Ofsted's findings into consideration in its review of the curriculum.

At what age should young people start to receive sex education? Should schools be teaching sex education or should this be the parents' responsibility?

Do the over-40s get enough sex education?

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    "Should schools be teaching sex education or should this be the parents' responsibility?" (HYS):

    I fail to understand why - after millions of years of Humans living & breeding, modern Media excessive coverage and News covering this subject ever since I can remember - we STILL think that Sex-education in Schools is the problem...

    As I see it School is NOT the problem - our SOCIETY IS.

    I would enforce Schools to teach the BASICS of Sex in it's Biology lessons and EXPECT Parents to fill in the rest with regard to 'unwanted'-preganancies and relationships.

    In MY personal opinion:
    I'll say it again - I believe that ALMOST ALL young people over the age of 12 already know the basics of sex and babies.
    This continual 'excuse' with regard to the need for Sex-education in Schools - is a red-herring to cover up for those inadequate and incompetent 'Parents' who fail their Children with regards Sex education.

    Until these 'Parents' are MADE to do their job properly - THIS non-problem WILL EXIST AD NAUSEUM.

    I just wish our Governments, Media & interested 'Groups' would just stop trying to kid the rest of us that the blame is NOT primarily in the Home...

  • Comment number 2.

    'The report went on to say that in many secondary schools, pupils were taught about the biology of sex but not relationships.'

    Is it really the school's place to teach children about relationships?

    Is it even possible to teach anybody about relationships?

    Surely thats one of the major parts of life's great learning curve something you pick up as best you can as you go along.

    Its no suprise that schools are failing 'sex education' if the criteria for success contains something so esorotic and nebulous as 'relationships'.

  • Comment number 3.

    Given that the faith-heads are telling children that sex is wrong/bad from the time they walk I would suggest that we start as early as possible.

    History note: Chad Varah started the Samaritans because his first service as a new vicar was the funeral of a teenage girl who reached maturity, started to mensurate, didn't know what was happening and feared she had VD, so she commited suicide.

    Lets do what ever is necessary to stop the SMAGS (as Varah calles them).

    SMAGS = Sex, Muck And Guilt Spreaders.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    "At what age should young people start to receive sex education? "

    At age 7 and above, as part of basic (biology) science lessons. There should be NO exceptions from this, on religious grounds or otherwise, as it's too basic a part of biology to be avoided. Any child reaching the age of 11 without learning the basic facts of life is being seriously let down by the education system.

    I'm not convinced on the usefulness of PSHE lessons in general, though. They tended to be a joke lesson when I was in school. Teach this stuff in the science class with academic rigor instead. You can include stuff like STI's, contraceptives, and so forth there too.

    "Should schools be teaching sex education or should this be the parents' responsibility?"
    The teaching of biology should be the school's responsibility. Relationship advice should (ideally) be left to the parents, although the school should also offer counseling about such issues in case any students having problems at home, etc.

  • Comment number 6.

    'How can schools improve sex education'? is the HYS question.

    Teachers are embarrassed - well pupils are too. It seems that mixed gender groups are still part of the problem - not part of the solution? There is nothing retrograde about single gender groups - it opens the whole issue in a way that has to be reviewed in it's entirety?

    1) Whatever the age of the pupil, 'sex/relationship' education in schools would benefit from separate gender groups with a teacher of that gender taking that class?

    This may help to reduce inhibition and reflect more realistically what both genders feel on such a sensitive issue - plus help to dispel so many urban myths?

    2) Furthermore, anatomy and physiology is the key, rather than biology. This would genuinely enhance the understanding for ALL pupils of how their body works during these classes, and as part their overall education?

  • Comment number 7.

    When I was in school, we had PSE lessons.

    Biological sex education was taught in biology lessons.
    Relationships was taught in PSE lessons. Tolerance, Equality and Free Speech was identified as the crux of all good relationships. Without them, no relationship is a good one.

    It is my view that the government does not have laws that encourage this kind of behaviour.
    The government always acts like it can't trust it's populace, fines, cameras, ID cards, GPS tracking, etc. They try to convince us with positive discrimination that minorities are better than us. The "justice" policemen receive is different to that of a serf. 28-day detention upon "suspicion" of being a terrorist. Financial Fraud/Non-violent Drug Offences receive longer jail sentences than the violent offenders.

    If the government wants anything to change, they should lead by example. Nothing will change until they do.

  • Comment number 8.

    Say it as it is, pointless out the moral, social & heath risks under age Sex and school girl Mother present. Make sure the children know it's not just about getting your council flat/house.

  • Comment number 9.

    Funnily enough we seemed to do all right when there wasn't any sex education at all.

  • Comment number 10.

    I'm not even sure school is the best place to teach kids about this stuff. Whatever happened to parents telling their kids about the birds and the bees? I think parents informing their own kids and taking responsibility for their sex education is the best way to address this non-issue.

  • Comment number 11.

    Off we go again then.

    Sex education is necessary - but unfortunately all children grow at different rates - so difficult to give exact date which would be most beneficial.

    It should start in a informal way at home by the parents - around the age that the child can hold a conversation but only if the child requests information about where they came from. Not too much information, merely perhaps a comment about babies. And so it proceeds through it's childhood until the majority of information the child has absorbed encompasses all it requires on the subject of sex.

    There is no need to educate children at school about sex - it merely "advertises" it and those who have not yet got a full understanding of how and when to have a sexual experience will seek to "try it out" just like everything else that is thrust upon them by the the media advertising groups.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    What do Ofsted know about sex education? They have been totally useless at improving basic standards in schools so why do they think they can advise in this issue with all of the inherent complexities? Ofsted are a self-perpetuating counter-productive mistake who have get too big for their boots. They make schools worse instead of better. Get rid of them.

  • Comment number 14.

    Sex education at school should cover the biology, the risks, type of relationships, contraception and at least 50% wait for it on how to enjoy it.

    There is absolutely wrong with about enjoying sex to the utmost - however you choose to do that. Sex is not a 'problem' but not doing it irresponsibly (or badly) is - hence the need to educate kids.

    Why are some teachers or kids embarrassed about an absolutely wonderful healthy part of life ?
    It will take a long time before the damage to human sexuality due to judgemental religions trying to control people is repaired.

  • Comment number 15.

    Why cant schools and teachers use the language used on the EXCELLENT Channel 4 "Sex Education Show"?

    Sex education in schools is made more difficult as son many parents fail to tell their children. My parents never told me a thing and when I mentioned this to my mum the other week, she went very prudish and making strange comments.

    No wonder we have so many teenage pregnancies and other problems as the parents are at fault, yet they then complain at sex being taught at school.

    If we were only brought up to be told that sex and relationships was normal and not something dirty, disgusting and never to be discussed.

    Sex is natural and nothing to be ashamed of and the failures of parents and the education system shows itself in many of the problems we have these days.

  • Comment number 16.

    If only we had the ability to communicate about sex and relationships then we would be able to teach it. We don't even have an appropriate form of language,just clinical or base and then rely on poets to find metaphors to describe the reality. The agenda of education in sex is also confused by competing morality theories. It is all pretty doomed to failure unless the state makes an unequivocal and no religious get out statement on what will be taught and then helps teachers develop the skills to actually teach it.

  • Comment number 17.

    As a teacher I do feel that we are constantly being asked to be parents. I don't mind providing sex education but I am often shocked by the lack of discussion children have with their parents. I feel it is important that parents talk to their children about how they were brought into this world, after all they were the ones that created them not me.

  • Comment number 18.

    Since sex education was introduced, divorce has soared. It cannot be used to improve relationships, since it is one of the causes of their breakdown. Teaching "safe sex", encouraging contraception and generally aiding and abetting promiscuity, it has greatly contributed to the breakdown of morals in Britain and the world, undermining the Judaeo-Christian foundations of marriage. The teachers certainly cannot help with relationship, as so many of them are divorced or separated anyway. Sex education should therefore be completely scrapped. The moral disintegration of Britain and the West is so far advanced, however, that it is probably too late to stop the rot.

  • Comment number 19.

    Kids are bombarded with sexual imagery and information from a very early age be it in music, literature and film. "Children" nowadays are more aware of and active in sexual activity than any previous recent generation. This is due to a morally bereft society, irresponsible parenting, poor schooling combined with role models who would have been vilified as being scum 20 or so years ago. Society is going to hell in a muck cart and unless we have a radical attitude change things can only get worse.

  • Comment number 20.

    Maybe the current obsession with sex education in schools explains why we have so mnay teenage pregnancies - they are obviously doing their job too well.

    So much time is obviously wasted on sex education we have a generation who are barely able to read, write or count when they leave school, but hey they all know about sex!

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    I'd say take a look at Lambath (I think this is the London borough) they've cut teenage pregnancy rates by 28%. How by not shying away from sex education and starting at a young age before the subject becomes a cause of snickers and sniggering from the students.

  • Comment number 23.

    Stop teaching it.

    Let it come in by osmosis, let you're older brother, sister or mates tell you, it's not academia. Even parents, although kids are less likely to go there for this kind of advice becasue it's admitting to doing something that due to our repressive and Victorian attitudes towards it, are still a social taboo.(almost)

    When kids are ready, they ask, at least my older one did. I think my younger one knows more than me!!


  • Comment number 24.

    It takes 10 minutes to teach the facts of life - why do you need 'education' for 18 years? Because the contraceptive/abortifacient, stonewall, playboy mentality has the agenda. Teach self respect and respect for others, chastity (now there's a novalty)self control (another novalty) and waiting till married and commited for life before intercourse (impossible I hear you cry)but it can be done! its called morality and stop imposing and forcing your immorality onto the children! Sexperts leave the kids alone!

  • Comment number 25.

    I got mine behind the bike shed and in the long grass and if my memory serves me right it was a slow rate of education. Teenage pregnancy rates were low. Level of STDs were low.

    Today we teach them young and quickly, get surprised at the teenage pregnancy rate, give them the morning after pill, use abortion as the birth control method of last resort and if we belive the reports everybody has either Clamidia or HIV or is in extreme danger of catching both.

    Now I know I will get slammed but I really think that the education via the fumbling about method was the better of the two because you started when you were ready.

  • Comment number 26.

    I agree education starts in he home. What must be realized is so many homes today do not have caring biological Mothers and Fathers attending to their young there, so it must take place in the schools. In all elementary classrooms there needs to be two teachers present one male and one female dedicated/devoted/married to each other to teach in the classrooms representing these two caring individuals regardless of any subject. Granted that will not be an easy task today, but I am sure they do exist. This will allow those so many children as least an opportunity to observe what such a pairing looks like in all they do in respect to each other, sex aside from it all. That comes naturally, or so it should. When children see this harmonic relationship they will naturally learn and begin to respond accordingly regardless of race, ethnicity or country of origin.

    William

    when only one teacher in any classroom is present in any other circumstances will always be biased to some degree or another.

  • Comment number 27.

    I find it extraordinary that a government department could critisize the teaching of sex education considering there is no syllabus for it!

    Teachers are effectively told:-

    'make somthing up that is appropriate for the teaching of sex ed'

    And those teachers are told they lack the skills! Well of course they do! How many people did their degree in sex education for goodness sakes!

    Create a suitable syllabus and make materials available and it will be taught to a standard. Until then we will continue with the shambolic mess we currently have.

  • Comment number 28.

    Sex education isn't a problem in the UK. Sex responsibility is the problem.

  • Comment number 29.

    It's simple really, "When a man and a woman who love each other very much, or have drunk too much...."

  • Comment number 30.

    "18. At 10:49am on 23 Jul 2010, Goreal wrote:
    Since sex education was introduced, divorce has soared. It cannot be used to improve relationships, since it is one of the causes of their breakdown. Teaching "safe sex", encouraging contraception and generally aiding and abetting promiscuity, it has greatly contributed to the breakdown of morals in Britain and the world, undermining the Judaeo-Christian foundations of marriage. The teachers certainly cannot help with relationship, as so many of them are divorced or separated anyway. Sex education should therefore be completely scrapped. The moral disintegration of Britain and the West is so far advanced, however, that it is probably too late to stop the rot."

    Society has not had a breakdown of morals. Morality has increased hugely. It is no longer tolerated for men to beat women, homosexuality is tolerated and gay marriage accepted.

    You can no longer beat your kids and if kids are sexually abused the perportrators are brought to book.

    Men who leave women with a child now have to pay for that child and the woman is supported by the state and society.

    The 'old days' you speak so fondly of had no morals whatsoever.

    In 2010 society is far more moral than it has ever been in history if you think otherwise then your concept of morality is severely warped.

  • Comment number 31.

    Faith schools will never teach children sex ed properly - only guilt and shame.

    Say NO TO FAITH SCHOOLS

  • Comment number 32.

    3. At 10:00am on 23 Jul 2010, JohnH wrote:

    Given that the faith-heads are telling children that sex is wrong/bad from the time they walk I would suggest that we start as early as possible.

    ===========================================================================

    Dont know about all religions but most religions do not say sex is wrong! Surprised? Extramarital sex is wrong. You daily mail readers...

  • Comment number 33.

    I hope the new government has the common sense to make parents more accountable. I'm not opposed to sex education in schools, but why does society expect school to do everything for kids and families??? Frankly, I'd probably opt out of teaching sex education if I were a teacher, unless I knew that the parents were playing their role too.

  • Comment number 34.

    I got taught sex education at school in the 80's but things were different then,if you came across a young teenage girl pushing a pram then it was immediately thought it was her younger sibling.
    The education in schools is not the issue but rather it's the moral stand point of the kids involved.
    It is seemingly a situation now of get pregnant get a council house,sponge off everyone else who works,claim your benefits & don't worry because everyone else is paying through their teeth to support the irresponsible.
    I think what the government should do is stop with the council flats,stop with all the benefits,assume a loan situation where the dad's are in the situation of having to pay for their kids (do not care if they are still doing paper rounds,take that money they earn as support for their child).
    Do that & within 2 generations the numbers of teenage pregnancies would drop & we would not have this huge tax payer black hole as we do now.
    Return things to the moral of if you want it then do not expect to have the same as the working people & once this has sunk in then this would halt this problem.
    Condoms etc are more easily available now so it is not a lack of education but rather ignorance that is the problem & the only way out is to stop making things so easy for them.
    The money that is saved from this support & benefits could go to help our old,disabled & the vulnerable in our society.
    The simple fact is this that the majority of teenage pregnancies occur in council assisted families & it is becoming a legacy that one sponger passes it on to their off spring creating a new range of spongers.

  • Comment number 35.

    The BBC leads on yet another 'SURVEY REVEALS BRITAIN IS CRAP' story.

    I can't help feeling this is why so many people increasingly cordially loathe the BBC.

    As for sex education, we probably got less when I was a kid, but there were no teenage pregnancies among anyone I knew.

    But then again, there were no benefits or council flats.....

  • Comment number 36.

    There are two closely-related, but quite distinct, elements to sex education. There is the biological side to it - and in this I would include sexual health; there is the social emotional and moral side to it. As far as the biological side goes, I think education should begin as soon as children become aware of the distinction between boys and girls. Certainly, as a parent, I tried to answer my son's questions as clearly as I could whenever they arose.

    The social, emotional and moral side of sex is, in many ways, more difficult. As a Christian I think sex is a beautiful gift that God has given to human beings to cement the closest relationships between us. It is not dirty or sordid, and we should be happy to talk about sexual issues openly with young people - certainly that is the stance I take as a teacher.

    The extent to which young people can engage in discussion of this kind, though, depends on their emotional maturity. A lot of the difficulties I find young people have stem from the pressures society places on children at far too young an age. The sexualisation of young people - especially girls - and the persistent portrayal of sex in the media as something to be engaged with as soon and as immediately as possible mean that many of them start to have to have to deal with sexual issues for which they are emotionally unready. Similarly, morally questionable behaviour such as infidelity and sexual profligacy are too often depicted as "ordinary", even harmless.

    If we want successful sex education in schools we need, as a society, to be singing from the same hymn sheet and we all have to accept our responsibilities to our young people.

  • Comment number 37.

    I do not agree with those who say sex education should be the responsibility of parents and that schools should not do it.
    We owe it to children to give them a good knowledge of sex in the same way that they should have a good knowledge of e.g. geography.
    However, if we leave the teaching of geography to parents, some children's knowledge of these subjects will be woefully inadequate and/or vastly biased. For the same reason sex education should not be left to parents.
    No one has come forward with a convincing argument why sex education should be treated any different than other school subjects.

  • Comment number 38.

    I visit lots of schools around the UK delivering aspects of the PSHE curriculum, specifically around health, alcohol, drug and knife awareness. The most difficult thing for teachers to do, is teach something that they have little training or knowledge in. There are teachers who have areas of expertise, but when schools have to deliver to a whole year group that expertise can be lacking and teachers feel vulnerable in those situations.

    The way PSHE is delivered varies as well. Some schools have whole days dedicated to an topic others have one lesson a day, week or month. I dont think there is any right or wrong way from this, but the most important thing is making sure teachers have the confidence and training to teach important and difficult subjects. If not, then use trained providers that can support them.

  • Comment number 39.

    21. At 11:03am on 23 Jul 2010, jono-been wrote:
    Whack a couple of pornos on in the classroom. Problem solved.
    "This children, is what we call the 'cowgirl'..."
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    No

    Show the sex education scene from Monty Python's 'Meaning of Life'

    'What's wrong with a kiss, boy? Hmm? Why not start her off with a nice kiss? You don't have to go leaping straight for the ****** like a bull at a gate. Give her a kiss, boy.'




  • Comment number 40.

    I beleive this education should lye with parents rather than teachers.
    This is a sensitive subject and each child is different in the way they should be spoken to about this.
    I think Parents are becoming lazy in taking part in the education of their children and leave far too much to the School. I am a parent and have open discussions about Sex education. I think its time people got over it. Its something most of us do, its part of life so lets tell our kids and educate them about it ourselves rather than leaving it to Schools.

  • Comment number 41.

    It's amazing how many people on HYS complain about the nanny state yet when it comes to teaching their children about sex and relationships, they expect the state to do it for them.

    This is a parental issue not a schools issue.

  • Comment number 42.

    Nine is the age for sex/biology information, to prepare females (at least) for the biological clock that is ticking away. A female member of my family told me of her experience as a 10 yr old child, being in her school when her first 'Period' started, and she being totally unprepaired or informed in any way, thought she was going to die. The fear and distress caused can only be immagined. NO one should ever have to suffer that trauma in this day and age. As for having an earlier age--(after all, people are different) this is for the experts to decide. But I am concerned about very young CHILDREN having their so-short spell of inocence taken away. I can remember my sister aged 11 in the mid 1950's, still playing with her dolls. Where will it end ?

  • Comment number 43.

    When I was asked to take Sex lessons in Schools 20 years' ago I simply said that the kids already know more about it than the teachers. I believe the situation hasn't changed vis-a-vis the kids knowing more about sex than their teachers!

  • Comment number 44.

    9. At 10:12am on 23 Jul 2010, Edwin Schrodinger wrote:
    Funnily enough we seemed to do all right when there wasn't any sex education at all.
    -------------------

    This is what I was thinking, why is there a need for sex education in schools? It seems to me that pregnancy rates STDs have boomed since sex education was forced upon schools. Anyone have any before and after statistics?

  • Comment number 45.

    24. At 11:12am on 23 Jul 2010, prexiousMary wrote:

    It takes 10 minutes to teach the facts of life - why do you need 'education' for 18 years? Because the contraceptive/abortifacient, stonewall, playboy mentality has the agenda. Teach self respect and respect for others, chastity (now there's a novalty)self control (another novalty) and waiting till married and commited for life before intercourse (impossible I hear you cry)but it can be done! its called morality and stop imposing and forcing your immorality onto the children! Sexperts leave the kids alone!

    =========================================================================

    Perfect. But now people will start telling you its 21st century! (so may be we should start eating through ears as its 21st century afterall!).

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    There is no necessity of any sex education in schools as much more knowledge on this subject is freely availaible outside to the younsters in the form of erotic ads, sexy TV serials, scantily dressed women, roaming on the streets, and cheap pornographic books sold on the pavements. In fact, many youngsters feel that what is being taught in schools is too elementary in comparision to the knowledge freely available outside for those who are inquisitive about the subject.

  • Comment number 48.

    18. At 10:49am on 23 Jul 2010, Goreal wrote:
    Since sex education was introduced, divorce has soared. It cannot be used to improve relationships, since it is one of the causes of their breakdown. Teaching "safe sex", encouraging contraception and generally aiding and abetting promiscuity, it has greatly contributed to the breakdown of morals in Britain and the world, undermining the Judaeo-Christian foundations of marriage. The teachers certainly cannot help with relationship, as so many of them are divorced or separated anyway. Sex education should therefore be completely scrapped. The moral disintegration of Britain and the West is so far advanced, however, that it is probably too late to stop the rot.
    -----------------------------------------------
    See my post 3

    SMAGS = Sex Muck And Guilt Spreaders

  • Comment number 49.

    I forgot this point as well to add in it's the Media that do not help also & when I say this I mean Magazines & some tv shows.
    I have a nephew who is 16 & him & his friends were at one of these street cruiser meet things attended by a certain car magazine aimed at the younger aged like my nephew who was laughing with his friends whilst looking at this magazine.
    I asked what was it they were laughing about & his friend told me they had been to one of the cruises a while back & the photographer for this magazine & someone with him were going around asking if the girls wanted to be in their magazine & apparently this girl they knew told the photographer she was 18 & got asked sexual related questions & then asked if she wanted her picture taken to which she did & after some (very little) from what I understand lifted her top to show herself.
    So she got her topless picture in the magazine but wont enjoy the "fame" so much among her fellow class mates as my sister told the girls mother & father.
    My point by the above is this,that it is wrong to just try to make any child be confronted with an idea of sex & so on but tv & the movies ram it down their throats everyday.
    I am aware that time & opinions change & this is often a good thing but in situations like this it is surely not.
    Things here need to be tightened a fair bit & stop the children at such a young age being treated like sex objects as this is wrong.

  • Comment number 50.

    32. At 11:31am on 23 Jul 2010, CodeCruiser wrote:
    3. At 10:00am on 23 Jul 2010, JohnH wrote:

    Given that the faith-heads are telling children that sex is wrong/bad from the time they walk I would suggest that we start as early as possible.

    ========================================================================

    Dont know about all religions but most religions do not say sex is wrong! Surprised? Extramarital sex is wrong. You daily mail readers...

    =======================================================================

    As I said most faith heads teach that sex is wrong. The fact that they say it is OK within marraige and then, and ONLY THEN to have kids, shows that sex education shouldn't be left too late.

    ======================================================================

    And to call me a daily mail reader! how dare you! I demand an apology!

    I'm a human being!





  • Comment number 51.

    The teaching of sex education and drug education will never improve until the subject is made compulsory and given a high enough status in schools.It''s definitely not seen as being as important as other subjects when in fact it can have the biggest impact on a young people's lives

  • Comment number 52.

    Sex education should be taught in the Biology/Science class and should be confined to the mechanics as it were. Relationships, contraception etc., is outside the remit of schools.

    I work in a secondary school (support staff not Teacher) and every year for the last 3 years I have had to sit through the Form 2 PSE/Sex Education course. It's not taught by teachers qualified in the subject. So far it's been taught by a Chemistry teacher, a History teacher and an English teacher. It is extremely explicit and amounts to a 'How To' course. It covers (using embarassingly realistic models) such gems as how to put on a condom (and how it might be more pleasurable to your boyfriend if you put it on him) - and remember that these are 12 year olds.

    The excuse I usually hear as to why all of this education is necessary is that it will prevent unwanted pregancy, lower rates of STI's etc. And it's been going on in this vein for years. But as I understand it we still have the highest teen preganancy rates in Europe - second only to the USA in the entire world I think. I've not seen the figures for STI's but I rather suspect that the UK is either top of the league in this respect also.

    Bit of a waste of time and money then????? The mechanics of sex is what most parents find embarassing so stick to this and leave the rest to the parents.

  • Comment number 53.

    I watched the recent C4 TV show 'The Sex Education Show'. It was pretty clear that the teenagers involved in that learned more from that show than they did from any school lessons, including important things like every shape and size is normal and not something to be ostracised over.

    We have a system where much of what our kids 'know' about sex comes from gossip with their peers, lads mags/girls mags and pornography. Parents are clearly NOT doing their job properly. The last government tried to change this but were defeated by opposition MPs and had to drop the legislation.

    We need to stop treating our kids that they're total innocents who'll be damaged by knowing the fact of life. They're not and they won't be. Ignorance is not bliss, it's just ignorance.

  • Comment number 54.

    No 30 fantastic post. I'm sick of the religious morality police claiming that things are awful now and society is broken. Its the repressed attitudes demonstrated in post 18 that creates the problems in the first place.

    Todays society is the most caring, tolerant and liberated since history began. We are simply better informed of problems that were simply not discussed in the past and that gives us an illusion of 'moral' decline.
    Our morality is at an all time high.

    Education should seek to

  • Comment number 55.

    Teenage girls in this country don't become pregant because they are innocent and naive and know nothing about sex. On the contrary, they probably know more about it than most adults.

    The problem is happening for several reasons:

    a) on purpose, as having a baby is now a status symbol amongst some teenagers, mainly because of the perks that come with them, like instant housing.
    b) because they can't be bothered to use contraception
    c) because they know that if there are consequences, a benevolent health and social care system will bail them out of trouble.

  • Comment number 56.

    The issue is relationships. Sex is safest in Marriage, it avoids the heartache of betrayal and the vulnerability of not beeing committed, eliminates STD's, and provides a stable setting for children. But few teach it anymore. What is shocking is no one exposes the vulnerability and likelihood of heartache is highly more likely in a sexual relationship outside marriage.
    Of course there are marriages that fail, adultery can happen, but if you look at the figures, you are many more times likely to suffer STD's, betrayal or abandonment from your relationship if you are in an intimate relationship outside marriage. The facts and figures are there.
    So let the youth or today choose, but dont give them half the story or no story at all.

  • Comment number 57.

    Do schools really need to change sex education lessons. I think the major changes need to occur with the government, so that the English follow the Dutch.

    1. Clarify the minimum age to have sex. It seems that nothing much happens to a child who has sex below the age of 16, unless the partner is over 16 and can be treated as a paedophile. Either it is illegal to have sex if you are under 16 or it isn't.

    2. Do not give council homes or child benefit to teenage mothers. This is one of the main reasons why several girls get pregnant in the first place. Free accommodation for life, no need to work and £50 per week per child. It is very easy for a teenager to be better off than a graduate, who still has to find accommodation etc. The Netherlands government used to ignore the children of teenage mothers, so the girls' parents had to find extra money to pay for the children. Result - far fewer teenage pregnancies in the Netherlands than in Britain.

    3. Make the boy's family pay towards the child, rather than letting the boy escape and the bill being paid for by the taxpayer. This may reduce the chance of boys having multiple partners.

    4. Only pay child allowance for the first two children and scrap child benefit, so that unemployed people don't get more money than workers due to the number of children.

    If the government encouraged children to only have sex when they were mature enough to deal with any eventualities, we could avoid the current system where people are having large families, are living in expensive accommodation and have no intention of working.

    Sex eduction should talk about responsibility towards any children and I think it would be a good idea if parents paid the cost of social workers coming to tell them how to look after their children.

  • Comment number 58.

    At 10:01am on 23 Jul 2010, Calaba wrote:
    "Any child reaching the age of 11 without learning the basic facts of life is being seriously let down by the education system.
    "

    -----------------------

    No, any child reaching the age of 11 without learning the basic facts of life is being seriously let down by their Parents

  • Comment number 59.

    Since sex education was introduced, we have seen a rise in under age mothers and the younger they teach the subject the younger they are getting. This problem has nothing to do with council flats and more to do with the secular society and the no God, no sin senario.

    Schools teach sex, then we wonder why kids try it. No sex before marriage was always a good contraceptive but imagine the ridicule it would evoke in our modern, secular, so called enlightened, media driven, society.

    This neuvo way of life is to blame. along with the music industry and TV our kids do not stand a chance and if we carry on with this filthy, anything go's, be what you want to be, do who you want to do idiology. We might as well accept the state of things as the norm.

  • Comment number 60.

    The teaching of the biology of reproduction, ways it can be prevented, inherent risks such as sexually transmitted diseases and cancer should most definitely be taught. These are facts.
    Teaching about, 'relationships', on the other hand is a minefield depending solely on the pristine objectivity of the teacher, (an unattainable aspiration).
    The validity of a relationship, (or otherwise), which children are taught, cannot be measured by an OFSTED approved text or test. The last people to try this in practise were messrs. Hitler and Stalin.
    One hardly needs to be well versed in the politics of intolerance, practised to a lesser or greater degree by all of the worlds nations, governments, religions/sects, ethnic groupings and individuals to realise that a, 'normal', relationship does not exist.
    My guess is that, to the fury of the Daily Mail reader in London, Bejing, Rome or Tehran, any, 'teaching' will be of the tried and tested, 'whatever floats your boat', lowest common denominator, one size fits all variety and humankind will get on with its normal, use/abuse/use me/abuse me, (why do I hear Annie Lennox?), tried and untrusted ways.

  • Comment number 61.

    Edwin Schrodinger wrote:
    Funnily enough we seemed to do all right when there wasn't any sex education at all.


    Funnily enough I went to school before sex education was introduced and believe it or not there were countless teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and back-street abortions going on, you just didn't hear about them in the papers because that sort of thing wasn't spoken about in the media.

    The suggestion that everything was ok before sex education is nothing less than an outright lie and those trying to suggest that sex education has caused social problems are either blissfully unaware or simply in denial about the fact that contraception and the sexual liberation of the 1960s is what lead to an increase in promiscuity, divorce and everything else they like to blame on sex education.

    A girl in our street got pregnant at 13 and she was sent off to live with her family in the country while she was pregnant and didn't return until she'd given up the child for adoption, this was far more common than anyone would like to admit, as was teenage girls having children that were then brought up by the child’s grandmother and under the impression that their mother was their sister.

    The only reason people get so worked up about all of this these days is because the tabloid press are forever going on about chavs, single mothers and feral children. But then I suppose there are many in our country that can't get through the day without their Daily Hate to provide them with an undeserved sense of self satisfaction and superiority.

  • Comment number 62.

    judging by the number of young schoolgirl-mums out there today, it seems that all those years of sex education came to nothing.
    So I can`t see any improvement making any difference.

  • Comment number 63.

    On one of the last days of primary school before the summer break, half of the day should be dedicated to teaching the pupils about to begin secondary school the basics and risks of sexual reproduction. These pupils would be eleven years old. There should be a high emphasis on STDs and more detailed information about the most common and dangerous ones. The children should all get a government produced booklet to take away with them to read during the summer break at their leisure and for future reference.

  • Comment number 64.

    Should be taught at age 7 and above, as part of basic (biology) science lessons. Any child reaching the age of 12 without learning the basic facts of life is being seriously let down by the education system. Teach this stuff in the science class with academic rigor instead. You can include stuff like STI's, contraceptives, and so forth there too.

  • Comment number 65.

    Feel_Bad_Factor @ 46

    Its good to see that misogyny is alive and well.

    Perhaps if you (and your friends?!) learned to treat women properly they wouldn't divorce in the first place.

    As for the real question, the biology is the responsibility of schools, but the morality is up to parents. Some people want to teach children that waiting until marriage is correct, and some want to teach that sex can be fun outside of marriage. Let each of them teach their children their own way.

  • Comment number 66.

    Correct me if i'm wrong but isn't the legal age of consent in this country 16. So why are we teaching kids about before then. We are actively encouraging them to break the law.

  • Comment number 67.

    46. At 12:06pm on 23 Jul 2010, Feel_Bad_Factor wrote:
    18. At 10:49am on 23 Jul 2010, Goreal wrote:

    'Since sex education was introduced, divorce has soared. It cannot be used to improve relationships, since it is one of the causes of their breakdown'

    I disagree, divorce has soared due to outrageuos entitlements awarded to women, a fully embedded and accepted female greed cuture and also a goading girlfriend culture.

    Sex education at school should be simple and also split into two different groups - girls and boys. For the girls, teach them at all cost to get married, for the boys, teach them at ALL COSTS to stay single. Financial issues should also be taught to boys to enlighten them on the financial ruin girls will potentially lead them too.

    At 38yrs old and single, I'm doing very well for my self thank you Dad (he taught me well) and as of Febuary this year, all of my male friends, and I mean ALL, did not get taught this very valuable lesson and are now suffering the consequences.
    =====================================================================

    The girl who dumped you at a very early age must have really warped your mind didn't she?

    Or are you divorced and had your ex-wife take you to the cleaners?

    Its people like you who give mysogeny a bad name.





  • Comment number 68.

    The problem is that past Governments and quangos have insisted upon sex lessons being given in schools at ever-decreasing ages and concentrating upon the biology of sex. Parents have been marginalised and are even being prevented from withdrawing children from sex lessons where they disagree with the curriculum. The result? We have the worst teenage pregnancy levels in Europe!
    If schools are going to give sex lessons - and it seems that parents have little or no choice in this - then they need to teach the subject in the round i.e. relationships, family life, responsibility need to be included.
    Just showing kids how to have sex is hardly going to reduce unwanted pregnancies. And showing 5-year-olds? Why cannot our children have their childhood before being raced into adulthood?

  • Comment number 69.

    My husband is a teacher. He made a valid point this morning when listening to the news about this that zero training is given for teachers to give sex education lessons. It would be very beneficial to have sex education training in the year you train to be a teacher, so that teachers will feel fully equipped when having to give lessons.
    Personally, having recently viewed the sex ed programmes on Channel 4, I agree with the teenagers and presenters of the programme that sex ed should give far more details in lessons than it does already. Knowledge is power - as a teenager i was so naive, i didn't understand anything about sex, my body (Was i normal? what is happening to it?) let alone the feelings and hormones that were racing around inside me. The more teenagers know about sex ed the better they can make informed choices about sexual relationships and protect themselves and more importantly WHY they need to.
    Alot of parents don't talk to their children about sex ed, due to either not having the confidence to or that their child is too embaressed to allow them to have the conversation with them. Sex ed at school among friends and peers allows for frank conversations to be held to gain a greater understanding. Sex ed is not encouranging people to have sex underage, we all know that if someone wants to enter a sexual relationship then they will. But with indepth sex ed they will be informed with best protective scenarios and the realistic and frank consequences of their actions.
    I think the basics of sex ed should start being taught in primary school, it will allow children to start to understand themselves and also hopefully encourage them to naturally talk about issues they have with their peers and parents. This along side the basis of that you should enter a sexual relationship with somone that you love, and should be viewed as something special that takes place between two people (be it man and woman, man and man or woman and woman). Ban the prudish attitude towards sex I say, it can only damage children not help.

  • Comment number 70.

    Children are surrounded by a non-stopping 'life lesson' from the moment they become sufficiently aware of their environment and the things within it. A continuous lesson needs a path that fits the development and understanding of a particular child. Successful 'sex and relationship comprehension' needs reinforcement through personal experience(s) or risks being lost to the ether. Do we expect too much from class based learning in some subjects because they are too focused on generic principles?

    Schools can open subjects up but parents, close family and friends hold the key to uncovering an individual child's path through what is probably the most crucial element to enjoying life to the full - relationships.

  • Comment number 71.

    The media is highly responsible for the sexualisation of children and putting across warped ideas about sex and sexuality. Young people are like sponges, soaking up the images and messages they are fed.

    If organisations like the BBC keep broadcasting not-so-subliminal messages about teenage sex, pregnancy, abortion, dysfunctional relationships being "the norm", then I see is as a form of social engineering that actually is actually steering young people towards behaving in this way.

    Contrary to popular belief, many people, especially the young, do not discern the difference between drama and reality. TV and film drama become THEIR reality. I don't believe that art imitates life; in the contemporary world, ideas, concepts & opinions are all being steered by The Third Estate.

  • Comment number 72.

    It is most definitely the schools responsibility within the Biology lesson to review and teach reproduction (of all animals and plants). It is also their responsibility (again in Biology) to discuss disease, both sexual and non sexual, and ways in which it is spread and how it could be prevented.

    With regards to moral guidance and relationships, as peoples views are so varied, how can a central education system accommodate and please everyone? This task must firmly fall to the parents.

  • Comment number 73.

    We need to wake up and smell the coffee here. The vast majority of teenagers know that having sex without contraception can lead to pregnancy. The issue is that they're not frightened of that because we have a left leaning approach to social welfare which removes responsibility. If the clear rule was that if you have child you WILL work to pay for its upkeep the number of teenage boys wanting to wear a condom would go through the roof. It's very simple really.

  • Comment number 74.

    Sex education begins at home, the 'birds and the bees' as the layman would call it. Schools have a responsibility to ensure that children receive the correct and adequate education on the subject of sex and relationships, and to reinforce what the parents should be teaching children about puberty etc, but ultimately, the responsibility should not be the schools to bear. They are not in loco parentis, the curriculum is there to underpin the mechanics, the biology etc of relationships. The problem lies as a lot of teenagers are sexually curious and there needs to be more discipline enforced by their parents as to the nature of their relationships and how far each should go.
    The two should compliment each other in teaching their respective children sex/relationships, not be mutually exclusive.

  • Comment number 75.

    Unfortunately experience shows that parents do not take the responsibility or are too late in talking to their children. Learning from peers and media is not ideal often giving a distorted view around relationships. Not all teens are sleeping with each other despite what the media often portrays.
    Many parents don't know how to start to talk to their children. Many children and teenagers have their facts wrong and relationships and communication is something that has to be taught.
    However it is not solely educations responsibility but parents, media and the rest of us. We should all be working together, through talking to our kids, as well as leading by example.
    Stopping children from having lessons just leads to a great mystery and then they listen to playground talk and misinformation. Research shows a large number of boys gaining their info from porno sites - how does that portray relationships?
    It should be compulsory in PSHE but parents should take time out to work with their child's school. There are other sources which schools can access which includes the school nursing service (highly trained public health practioners).

  • Comment number 76.

    54. At 12:22pm on 23 Jul 2010, Carl Pierce wrote:
    "No 30 fantastic post. I'm sick of the religious morality police claiming that things are awful now and society is broken. Its the repressed attitudes demonstrated in post 18 that creates the problems in the first place. "

    Ah, but you misunderstand! We cannot teach children that sex is acceptable because it is wrong. Promiscuity should be discouraged simply because it is sex outside of a marriage is bad. Heavens forbid two people having sex just because they enjoy it! Sexual repression is the only way forward!


    Seriously tho, did you know that dolphins are the first documented species other than humans to have sex for fun rather than just for procreation?

  • Comment number 77.

    "Neuter the lot of them and go for test-tube babies!"

  • Comment number 78.

    In 22. At 11:05am on 23 Jul 2010, Steve Cooper wrote:

    I'd say take a look at Lambath (I think this is the London borough) they've cut teenage pregnancy rates by 28%. How by not shying away from sex education and starting at a young age before the subject becomes a cause of snickers and sniggering from the students.


    Maybe we should also find out which European country has the lowest rate of teenage pregnancy and see what they do differently there. Though any effects are likely to be long term.

  • Comment number 79.

    May I voice a radical suggestion?

    Maybe it’s not sex education in schools that is the problem but UK society. It is known that girls most likely to becoming teenage parents are those leaving care, homeless, those who underachieve at school, children of teenage parents, members of some ethnic groups, those involved in crime, and living in areas with higher social deprivation. We may also add middle class families with parents who are too bothered about their own lifestyle and work to be concerned with spending quality time with their children.

    http://npoliticsf.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 80.

    I do think it's important to teach children about sex education and effective contraception and relationship advice - though perhaps by people specifically trained. Perhaps then it may counteract the negative impression being constantly given by society. Passing rows of tabloids in a shop you can see that 'news' is apparently 'who is bedding who' and what one 'love rat' did to someone. TV is no better. Promiscuity is glamorised. Children from the year dot have daily access to soft porn/derogatory impressions of women through newspapers like the sun.

    Watching the channel 4 sex education programme I was shocked and saddened by what the children knew or thought as well as the massive gaps in their knowledge.

    Children are being constantly bombarded with sexual information, it would make sense to give them guidance as to how to interpret that.

  • Comment number 81.

    Look, it is not too difficult to understand. The more this nation becomes obsessed with sex (TV, film, music, magazines etc.), the more teenage pregnancy, sti's. Perhaps we should actually acknowledge there is a lot more to life than just sex. Yes it is important to many but so are non sexual relationships and pastimes.

  • Comment number 82.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 83.

    "59. At 12:45pm on 23 Jul 2010, Stewart wrote:

    Since sex education was introduced, we have seen a rise in under age mothers and the younger they teach the subject the younger they are getting. This problem has nothing to do with council flats and more to do with the secular society and the no God, no sin senario.
    Schools teach sex, then we wonder why kids try it. No sex before marriage was always a good contraceptive but imagine the ridicule it would evoke in our modern, secular, so called enlightened, media driven, society. "
    Teenage pregnancy rates are lowest in those countries where sex education is taught, appropriate for the age group, without exemptions.
    Interestingly, the teenagers in those societies also regard getting pregnant before you are in a relationship capable of raising and caring for a child as a really stupid thing to do. Abortion on demand before 10 weeks, taken with the presumption that the family will be the primary carer for a teenage mother, the other option is a state hostel with compulsory education and training, goes a long way to explain the low level of teenage parents.
    Those who advocate the 'don't tell them and they won't do it' approach should be aware that the experience of the 'Abstention' program in America (much promoted by the religious right)), is that those young people who follow that program when they do have sex do so without any protection i.e. Sara Palins daughter being a prominent example.

  • Comment number 84.

    I believe that sex ed is a must in schools but only in secondary schools. I was given a book by my mum and my high school taught me the rest, though it does need to go further than the basics. I am one of those mums who wants to be the one who teaches their children about sex but when they are ready. I have already had the question about how babies are made from my eldest who is 6. I told her in a way she could understand without revealing too much and she was happy with what I told her. She already knew how babies were born, she figured it out for herself! If they want to make it all compulsory in schools, there still needs to be allowances for those parents who wish to remove their children from those lessons. I don't wish the government to take over teaching a subject that should come from the parents especially when some people have specific views they would like to pass to their children that the government might teach differently!

  • Comment number 85.

    Here's a thought. Maybe, kids be taught about the responsibilities involved in producing children and being a parent (Parent's do still have some responsibilites don't they?) in their sex education lessons.

    And just maybe this could be taught to them by their own responsible parents!

    Otherwise, why don't parents just delegate any remaining responsibility to the teachers and then in future hire virtual kids they only need to wake up when they can be bothered to find the time?

  • Comment number 86.

    56. At 12:36pm on 23 Jul 2010, Nuno wrote:

    The issue is relationships. Sex is safest in Marriage, it avoids the heartache of betrayal and the vulnerability of not beeing committed, eliminates STD's, and provides a stable setting for children. But few teach it anymore. What is shocking is no one exposes the vulnerability and likelihood of heartache is highly more likely in a sexual relationship outside marriage.
    Of course there are marriages that fail, adultery can happen, but if you look at the figures, you are many more times likely to suffer STD's, betrayal or abandonment from your relationship if you are in an intimate relationship outside marriage. The facts and figures are there.
    So let the youth or today choose, but dont give them half the story or no story at all.

    =========================================================================

    59. At 12:45pm on 23 Jul 2010, Stewart wrote:

    Since sex education was introduced, we have seen a rise in under age mothers and the younger they teach the subject the younger they are getting. This problem has nothing to do with council flats and more to do with the secular society and the no God, no sin senario.

    Schools teach sex, then we wonder why kids try it. No sex before marriage was always a good contraceptive but imagine the ridicule it would evoke in our modern, secular, so called enlightened, media driven, society.

    This neuvo way of life is to blame. along with the music industry and TV our kids do not stand a chance and if we carry on with this filthy, anything go's, be what you want to be, do who you want to do idiology. We might as well accept the state of things as the norm.

    =========================================================================


    Very well said.

  • Comment number 87.

    I was first subjected to the "relationships" variety of sex education at fourteen. I had very little interest in sex. The topic was presented as if the entire class was likely to be sexually active on a regular basis, and as if that were perfectly normal and acceptable. And it wasn't just the teacher; all the published teaching resources (booklets, videos, stupid board games) took the same attitude.

    I can see with hindsight that it was unlikely that anyone in my class was sexually active at that age, but the peer pressure that that possibility puts you under as a child is powerful, because it's being endorsed by a teacher.

    The biggest message I took on board from my sex education classes was "you should be having sex at your age". I never openly questioned that message at the time for fear of belittlement and embarrassment.

    Personally, I think the "relationships" variety of sex education causes more sex-related problems than it solves. Teachers and resource publishers need to be extremely careful to counter the "you should be having sex" unspoken message that is inherent in discussing the issues they cover with impressionable children.

    It is not enough to simply talk about "when you're ready". Teachers must explicitly state that they would, quite frankly, be appalled if any of their fourteen-year-old class (or very surprised if any of their sixteen-year-old class) were actually having sex, and that the reason they are teaching the subject is for the future reference of the pupils rather than immediate practical application. And every teacher and source material being used needs to explicitly back this up or else the collective impression given is one of disagreement.

    Of course, there will be a subset of pupils who ARE having sex at fourteen and who will be marginalised by this, but quite rightly so. They wouldn't be forced to stop, but they and everyone else in the class would get the right impression that they are too young to be sexually active.

  • Comment number 88.

    "62. At 12:51pm on 23 Jul 2010, Johnnybgood wrote:
    judging by the number of young schoolgirl-mums out there today, it seems that all those years of sex education came to nothing."

    ---------------

    Apparently the sex education was fine. It was the contraceptive education which failed.

  • Comment number 89.

    Sex education in schools is too transfixed on the idea that all teens are about to start having sex at a very young age. Nothing is done to help pupils deal with the pressure they are put under by their peers and the media to lose their virginity.

  • Comment number 90.

    It should not be down to schools to teach children about relationships, that should be a parents job, both by example & by discussion. I am getting fed up of state sponsored brain washing of our young. The state have a screwed up vision of relationships & families. Their actions often mean that fathers are routinely excluded from the family, meaning children do not have a male influence in their lives. This is not a good example to set to our youngsters regarding fidelity & family values. The system is sexist, in the sense that it only recognises domestic violence as a male perpetrated crime, with little or no consideration being given to the fact that women also perpetrate this crime & in some cases cause their male partners to lose it.

    Every teenager knows that engaging in sexual activity can lead to STD or pregnancy, this is well taught in schools. What is not taught is taking responsibility for their actions. Kids know too much about their rights, but have no concept of the responsibility that comes with their actions.

  • Comment number 91.

    I have 4 daughters 3 that live with me 1 with my (14yrs old), after discovering that my 14yr old was in a sexual relationship with a 20yr old man i contacted the police and social services neither of which were interested needless to say i have very little input in her life as her cant be bothered mother does what ever is going to give her a quiet life regardless of the consequences to our 14yrs life.
    My 11yr old is a grade a student in the top group in all her subjects - blame the parents plain and simple.
    Kids getting pregnant at 14 well they were not taught about contreception sexually transmitted diseases or the life consequences that there would be of bringing another life into this world.
    Lack of parental guidance and discipline is a form of abuse.

  • Comment number 92.

    This HYS debate, thus far, sadly has attracted comments from so-called 'adults' focusing on everything else related to sexual activity; but none relating to the important anatomy and basic physiology of the human body tutoring in schools for both gender pupils in the UK?

    Most pupils in the UK education system are still unaware of what their own internal or external anatomy is about, especially way before or during puberty? The same could be said about most of their parents too?

    You don't have to be a child to have no scientific understanding of your own body? That lack of knowledge is nothing to be ashamed of - in fact it would help all generations if they explored the registered and ethical sites to understand the human anatomy.

    In conclusion, as our children are parents themselves - we know that single gender classes, with same gender teachers, ARE the way forward for all pupils in schools to encourage participation and remove inhibition in many 'sensitive' areas of education which should be treated as such?












  • Comment number 93.

    If you want more sex advice there is plenty going beggen why does the government have to put is oar in in fact it should look at its PMs who seem to need more advice than us. We can find out anything to do with sex so why is it that school now have to take over? The people who want to know anything can find it on line.

  • Comment number 94.

    I received no sex education in school, as did many generations prior to me, yet all these generation, including myself, have had a successful sex life and produced offspring. I'm not saying sex education shouldn't be a part of the curriculum, but is it really that important? After all, isn't informing children about sex the responsibility of the parents? Or, is this another issue today's parents are absolving themselves of, along with disciplining their children, teaching them manners and etiquette, right from wrong, etc?

  • Comment number 95.

    78. At 1:45pm on 23 Jul 2010, Mark Evans wrote:

    "Maybe we should also find out which European country has the lowest rate of teenage pregnancy and see what they do differently there. Though any effects are likely to be long term."


    Holland has the lowest teen pregnancy rate in Europe and one of the lowest in the world. Over half of all primary schools teach sexuality and contraception as well as the relationship side. The media are encouraged to have open and frank discussion and a non-judgemental approach to sexuality.

  • Comment number 96.

    Does nothing ever change in this Country?.
    We were having this same discussion back in the 60s when i was a Teenager.
    We have the highest Teenage pregnancy in Europe.
    So the answer must be no.

  • Comment number 97.

    Back in the 60s there was no sex education yet teenage pregnancies, abortions and STDs where a fraction of what they are now.

    Today we have ever more graphic sex education given at ever younger ages and teenage pregnancies etc continue to climb.

    It is abundantly clear, to everyone but the educators, that Sex education doesn’t work - it might even be making things worse – so let’s stop doing it.

  • Comment number 98.

    If the teachers get embarrased and have a lack of knowledge, why not make a series of TV programmes that can be shown in schools with a test afterwards. Like this, all the teacher has to do is start the programme and collect the tests. They barely need to say anything at all hence no embarrasment and no knowledge required.
    Get someone famous to present it and the kids will take notice.

    Simples!

  • Comment number 99.

    If you left the sex education of my daughter to me or my wife, she would get limited information.

    I would teach her "no", "get pregnant and you can pack your bags", "no make up until you are 21"

    My wife would end up giggling because she is prudish, doesn’t retain information in order to pass it on, believes in myths and old wives tales. Lovely women though, friend to everyone, would look stunning in a bin-bag.

    Don’t leave it to me to educate. I'd be useless at it. I could teach her to strip a two-stoke engine, propagate plants, cook the dinner…

    To the topic; just get specialist sex education teachers in once a week. The answer is so simple.

  • Comment number 100.

    I left a boys only catholic school in the mid-sixties with only minimal sex education, certainly nothing about where babies come from, (I seem to remember it was all about the evils of something called 'homosexuality').

    Within one year almost 70% of my fellow ex-schoolboys were going down the aisle to the sound of shotguns being loaded.

    Ten years later I was talking to a group of girls 5 years younger than me, out of five girls, three had had unwanted babies (when they were 16) that had been given up for adoption.

    The reason we now talk about teenage pregnancy is only because the girls are keeping their babies and not marrying the fathers.

    To talk about sex education creating problems is just not true.

    You cannot teach someone who will not learn, you will always get some who ignore all the advice.

    We must endeavour to make things better, and that means more sex education, better and easier to obtain contraception and less moralising.





 

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