Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Still Fucking Stupid

It seems that there is yet more fucking stupidity in sex education.
Children should be taught about sex and relationships throughout their time in school, a group of leading charities and a teaching union has said.

First, where do these people get off, really? Sex education is absolutely fine but who the fuck is qualified to teach anyone else about relationships? I mean, for sure, I could teach people about how to fuck up relationships (a massive intake of alcohol helps) but I would never deign to presume that I could teach anyone else about how relationships in general.

Who the hell is qualified, precisely?
In a letter to the Times newspaper, the Terrence Higgins Trust, the NSPCC and the National Union of Teachers said all pupils were "entitled to" such lessons.

Pupils do get sex lessons; the problem is that, whilst teachers are compelled to teach sex education, as Bookdrunk has repeatedly pointed out, they are not required to teach contraception.
With a flash of the blindingly obvious: maybe the reason that some young people are ignorant about safe sex is that there's no obligation to talk about safe sex during sex education in schools in the UK. Health campaigns for adults can be effective - but there's nothing quite as influential as creating formative habits and attitudes from an early age through comprehensive education.

Indeed, I pointed this out—after it was relayed to me by a teacher acquaintance—way back in January 2006, when I adopted The Fucking Stupid Initiative as a suitable monicker.
One of my friends is a teacher in the upper ends of a primary school, and she told me something that made me repeatedly bang my head off the table in frustration and frenziedly clench and unclench my fists in impotent rage. Now, as we all know, for bookdrunk has spelt it out numerous times (and god knows it is obvious enough), that if you wish to curb STDs and unwanted teenage pregnancies, then you need to educate the kiddies.

The government and the Scottish Executive have made much of their improved sex education, and obviously they are to be lauded for these efforts. Unfortunately, some of it is completely pointless, as my friend explained.

She is not allowed to teach her kids about contraception.

Yes, you did read that right. She is allowed to teach them about sex, but not contraception. She can teach them about how babies are made, but not how you can have sex without getting pregnant. She can teach them about Sexually Transmitted Diseases, but not how they might protect against them. She is supposed to get them to talk to their parents; she can, indeed, direct them to their parents, but she, herself, is not allowed to tell them about contraception.

Nothing has changed since that time. Still it's just another subject against which one finds oneself railing impotently...

UPDATE: Bookdrunk has written a primer on UK sex education policy.

11 comments:

Daily Referendum said...

I can't help wondering why teenage pregnancies and STDs have increased since sex education started. Sex education should be as simple as this: don't do it, it's wrong, and if you do it, this is how you do it safely.

I think that contraception should be the only thing taught in sex education.

bookdrunk said...

DK - the old journalspace link is dead - you can try this one instead.

purplepangolin said...

Bizarre. What is the stated rationale for not teaching them about contraception?

Rob said...

Not sure I agree. In the Netherlands they teach kids everything about sex. However they base it in the idea of a stable relationship. They have lower rates of STDs and teen pregnancies.

We in Britain need to stop being a bunch of prudes and open up on the subject. Ignorance is the biggest evil in relation to sex.

Letters From A Tory said...

Every politician just says we need more sex education because it makes them sound like they are doing something, when the reality is that they don't understand what is taught in the classroom - which is all that really counts.

Anonymous said...

Note the picture heading the BBC article: it depicts one man passing a condom to another man; the "receiver" is of darker hue. I know not whether to laugh or cry. Bloody BBC.

Newmania said...

can't help wondering why teenage pregnancies and STDs have increased since sex education started
Because of the swelling numbers the rate per 1000 has gone down( see poly Toynbee today). Mind you take into account revoltingly late abortions and its not that pretty a picture.

I believe a system whereby young women were handed to an older and wiser to man to break them in would be the the sort if sex education I would vote for and I know just the man for the job.

I can`t work out what DK is saying though , does he want sex education or not ?I would have thought his doctrine of Liberty would basically have cats an dogs living together in spite of the Lords prescription uop to all sorts of mularky

Roger Thornhill said...

1. Rob - have you also looked at the Netherlands' attitude to welfare? An example is that single parents with children under 5 are not automatically exempt from having to seek work. If you contrast Spain, Italy and Ireland - Catholic - and their welfare systems, you will see that the countries with good support for single parents have more of them.

2. Kids should be taught at 11 that if they get pregnant they have to fund it and find a place themselves. A great mechanism if you ask me. Oh, and introduce new policy to back that up!

3. I HATE the term "entitled" - it is a poisonous, loaded term. NO, NOBODY is "ENTITLED" to state organised sex education. It implies some lawyer or busybody lurking about ready to sue someone.

4. Best way to ensure schools teach what parents what is to stop preventing people starting schools and to have, to start with, a voucher system. Very soon schools with daft, premature, PC or other such classes may find they end up with few kids to teach.

Newmania said...

Great post Roger, I do belive you are spot on there !

British Patriot said...

It's easy, not puzzling at all. Firstly you know that they are deliberately trying to destroy Britain, everybody knows that.
Blue Tongue, Foot and Mouth, Bird Flu, you didn't really believe they were accidents, Noooo, destroy British Farmins in return for corrups supply contracts in Europe. Britain is being Gutted.

Ok Sex education but no contraception education, weird huh.

Well, we have been sold out to Islam, for Oil....In order to force upon us Islam, they must get our SAociety to Collapse, so....Sex education, 24hr drinking, relaxing drug laws etc...
Does it make sense now.

Have a look here....in few yrs they will say, lok at you disgusting Brits, we better start adopting some Islamic Prionciples...see how it works...

look here.
http://bfbwwiii.blogspot.com/2007/10/frankfurt-subversion.html

woman on a raft said...

Not sure how many commentators have direct experience of being in classrooms with various ages of children since they were one themselves.

The original item which so enraged DK began a teacher in the upper ends of a primary school

Why the head-banging? These are 9,10 and sometimes 11 year olds. It is entirely correct that at this stage they get it firmly fixed in their heads how their bodies are changing and how babies are made. That is enough to be going on with.

Even the thickest of them usually manages to understand Babette Cole's 'Mama Laid an Egg', but it is more difficult than you would credit, possibly because many of them are more immediately concerned with wiggling their baby teeth out to avoid as much brace-work as possible.

The Usborn Book of Rutting Robots is also pretty explicit, but they don't seem to make the final literary leap of understanding that it isn't really about robots. So much for the power literature.

Only a very few of the girls at that age will have begun menstruating. Parents are reluctant to curtail childhood but generally accept that since puberty is coming it is as well to be prepared for it. Going beyond that invites the parents - exercising impeccable libertarian principles - to decide that this is not the school's business at all.

Briefing 9 year old girls on contraception would not just annoy the parents - it would look bloody wierd tending to pervy. The only thing a 9-11 year old has to know is to know what constitutes inapproriate touching and how to holler good'n loud if it happens.

(You don't know what embarrassment is until you've been up the school to complain about the popular playgroud passtime 'Shaggy the Sheep'.)

By age 13 matters are different and the legal position itself is also much clearer. However, I simply don't believe the Terrence Higgins Trust or any other quangoid pan-handler when they say children are 'not aware' of contraception.

And who is to provide this awareness? Oh let me guess, I bet I'll be handed the bill.

Children would have to live down the bottom of a well not to be aware of contraception by age 13, although it is also true that some of them do live down wells, based on their inability to remember anything for five minutes at a time.

More likely the do know about contraception, but it's gone clean out of their minds in favour of repeating snips of old Python sketches. Whatever. If Roger thinks that economic arguments are likely to have much effect on this age group, he's invited to go plough a lake and note how effective that is, too.

In the meantime teachers will continue to do that job which is arguably the parents' responsibility and dutifully do the biz of forcing the science teacher to blow up a condom until it bursts, put another one on a plaster willy and make like the bromide Claire Rayner, whilst other teachers will produce 'cosmetic' displays of every kind of contraceptive you can think of, with instructions, in the hope that if they think of them as often as they think of lipstick, it might make some difference. My idea is to bung designer names on them. It might work.

Bookdrunk's description of people who reckon sex education has to be geared carefully to the age of a child to avoid sexualizing infants, as 'gutter pundits' is ignorant and overlooks the fact that the obsessive sexualization of childhood IS a paedophiliac trait.