Sex education should be compulsory

Posted in Janine's blog on Sat, 26/05/2007 - 10:34,

Below is an extract from a Parliamentary discussion about compulsory sex education.

Thu, 24 May 07

John Bercow (Buckingham) (Con): Given that a recent online survey of no fewer than 2,200 university students undertaken by the Terrence Higgins Trust, in conjunction with the National Union of Students, found that 10 per cent. of those university students did not know how to put on a condom correctly, 16 per cent. mistakenly supposed that putting on two was safer than putting on only one and that fully 25 per cent. wrongly imagined that other forms of contraception could equally well protect them from sexually transmitted diseases, does the Minister agree that we need to work harder and do more to bolster sex education, and that there is an increasingly compelling case in the national interest for making it compulsory?

Jim Knight: The hon. Gentleman makes a good case, but sex education is already compulsory in schools as part of the national curriculum, and in most cases it is delivered through PSHE. An increasing number of schools are deciding to provide on-site health advice as part of the extended services they offer, which we were talking about earlier, and we are certainly keen to see that develop.

Mr. Knight's reply is a little disingenuous, saying that sex education is compulsory and usually delivered through PSHE when sex education within PSHE is not compulsory. No mention of parental opt-outs either.

Of course, sex education should be compulsory. And it should not be loaded with imposed religious values. And it shoud both give facts and encourage discussion. Absence of sex education can only result in one thing - youngsters uneducated about sex. Which results not only in the STDs that concern our Tory questioner, but in young people ill-equipped to assert their sexual desires and therefore vulnerable to coercion and abuse.

By the way, isn't this Bercow chap the one who used to be a raving right-winger in the heady days of the Thatcher-era Young Conservatives but has since rebranded himself, Portillo-style, as a caring Con? Dear me, taking a marginally more liberal line on shagging does not stop you being a Tory scumbag.

This stuff is listed as "This week's oral education questions". I should probably make some kind of smutty joke about that, but I can't be bothered.

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