Sex-ed to be made compulsory(ish)
Lynne Miles // 27 April 2009
Under a somewhat misleading headline, the Guardian informs us that 5-year olds will be getting compulsory sex ed.
Halfway down the article it’s finally clear that PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education), the currently optional element of the school curriculum that aims to teach kids about life, the universe and everything, will be made compulsory. The proposed new curriculum includes lessons on how to manage bank accounts, how to deal with cyber bullying, how to resist gangs and, of course, all that stuff about sex and bodies. Sounds eminently sensible to me.
5 year olds won’t be rolling condoms on bananas quite yet, though. Instead they’ll be learning about how their bodies will change as they go through childhood. At 9 they’ll be learning about what to expect from puberty, at 11 they’ll learn the basics of human reproduction and not until secondary school will they get the full on sex, contraception, STD and relationship stuff (including about homosexuality and civil partnerships).
Confusingly, sex education will both be ‘mandatory’ for the first time for secondary school kids, but opt-outable. Actually, they’ll be allowing faith schools to teach sex and relationships ‘in the context of their religion’. But parents will still be able to pull their kids out. Apparently, 0.04% currently do so, mostly on religious grounds.
Shorter Mail: they’re teaching kids to be gay!
Shorter Telegraph: teach them when they’re grown up