Compulsory Sex Education in Schools
We asked our panel to express their opinions on the ongoing debate concerning compulsory sex education in schools. The vast majority of the panel were in agreement that this was something that needed to be a permanent fixture on the school curriculum for the safety of our children. Some of the panel were even shocked to hear that it wasn’t something that was already compulsory.
“I didn’t even realise that it wasn’t compulsory, I think that’s just terrible.” (Emma, 25, Northampton)
The factor that seemed to spilt the panel was at which age they thought it would be appropriate to introduce sex education. Some felt that primary school was too young and that we should try to preserve children’s innocence for as long as possible, while others expressed the view that it was important to keep them informed from a young age as long as it was done appropriately.
“It should be looked at like any other subject, so where it’s failing it needs to be looked at properly by OFSTED just like any other subject. I’m referring to secondary school, I don’t think it’s necessary in primary schools.” (Louise, 31, Gravesend)
“Children are going through puberty earlier all the time…children are naturally curious about their bodies and other people and if we teach this and teach it right then hopefully it might help to cut the appallingly high teenage pregnancy rate.” (Erica, 48, Hornchurch)
“I think people are being very naive if they think that children don’t have some idea about these sorts of issues anyway.” (Elizabeth, 34, Kettering)
Some of the panel also felt that the things taught in sex education needed to change. A few felt that although the science and physical act of sex was explained, the feelings and emotions that come with relationships were often left out and need further exploration.
“The sex education that most primary and secondary schools offer focuses too much on the mechanics of sex and actually doesn’t concentrate on the emotions involved.” (Katy, 30, London)