This week, the Commons Education Select Committee recommended that sex and relationship education (SRE) should be taught in all primary schools, a suggestion following an Ofsted report which found that more than a third of schools were failing to provide ‘age appropriate’ SRE.
I, for one, am absolutely horrified at the prospect that our primary school children could be bombarded with obscene imagery at such a young age as part of their so called ‘education’. Progressives such as Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt are so obsessed with sexualising our children that it has come to a point where we run the risk of robbing them of their innocence.
One argument being pushed by these progressives is child safety. Committee Chairman Graham Stuart MP believes that compulsory sex education “forms an important part of any school’s efforts to safeguard young people from abuse”. I’m sorry, but this is a cop-out and an insult to the thousands of children who have suffered abuse. Children are not abused because of a lack of sex education. Children are abused because of the horrific actions of evil adults whilst certain social services have proven themselves to be too gutless to report incidents to the police.
I am particularly worried that some local authorities in the past have already attempted to promote primary school sex education with disastrous results. A few years ago, some local authorities were promoting very graphic cartoons showing mums and dads jumping up and down together on space hoppers or embracing in a bed whilst accompanying text described the meaning of erections and prostitutes. Other captions described in detail the functions and purposes of orgasms and oral sex. In no world is this appropriate. Many children, particularly the very young, will find these lessons to be very confusing and in many cases upsetting.
One major problem yet to be addressed by those in favour of compulsory sex education in primary schools is the term ‘age appropriate’. Whilst there may be some merit for older (Year Six) children to be taught about some of the biological changes they can expect when they reach puberty, beyond that the term ‘age appropriate’ has very little meaning.
At a young age, children develop physically, mentally and emotionally at very different speeds to one another so what may seem ‘appropriate’ to one group in a particular class, may be very inappropriate to another. Let’s not forget that in a single year group, a child born in September will be almost a year older than a child in the same class born in August. Besides, who is to say that whatever is deemed as ‘age appropriate’ isn’t passed down to younger school children in the playground at break time?
Finally, we come to the role of parents. Ministers are saying that parents are crying out for better sex education with concerns that children are finding out about sex through pornography and other forms of media. I believe that ultimately, parents will know best as to when their child should be taught about sex. A parent will instinctively know when their child is emotionally ready to handle such a difficult topic.
Instead of making sex education compulsory in primary schools, would it not be better if we provide parents with the learning tools and answers to common yet difficult questions so they can make an informed decision as to when to teach their child. Meanwhile let’s allow children the enjoyment of going through school as children without burdening them with the sexualised pressures of adults.