[Paleopsych] BBC: Sex education 'is a legal right'

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Thu Aug 4 22:39:36 UTC 2005

Sex education 'is a legal right'
Published: 2005/07/28 08:59:22 GMT

    Parents should be forced by law to teach their children about sex,
    teachers are expected to argue.

    Too many teenage girls are becoming pregnant because of lack of
    knowledge, the Professional Association of Teachers' annual conference
    will hear.

    Tony Reynolds, a teacher from Cambridge, said many parents did not
    deal seriously enough with children's sex education.

    The UK has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in western

    'Taking the blame'

    Mr Reynolds, from Over Community Primary School, said a family in
    Derby, where three sisters aged 12, 14 and 16 were mothers, showed the
    seriousness of the situation.

    Their own mother, Julie Atkins, blamed their pregnancies on schools
    for not teaching children enough about sex, he added.

    Mr Reynolds said: "We don't need to go into the rights and wrongs of
    this case as to me it is clear that schools cannot and should not be
    left in a position where they may take the blame for the current

    "The delivery of sex education has to be the joint responsibility of
    both the home and the school.

    "Of course, there will be too many parents unwilling or unable to do
    this at present.

    "Therefore the government must ensure via legislation that parents
    have their responsibilities clearly set out."

    Peer pressure meant many pupils were afraid to ask questions about sex
    when it is covered in class.

    Meanwhile, many parents were too embarrassed to tackle the subject at
    home, he said.

    The conference is debating Mr Reynolds's motion demanding new laws
    requiring parents "to take more responsibility for teaching their
    children about sex and morality".

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