A UN Goodwill Ambassador on Sexual Health has told British parents to be less prudish when it comes to discussing sex with their young children. Goedele Liekens, a former Miss Belgium, said parents should teach toddlers about sexuality using children’s TV character Bob the Builder’s apparently platonic relationship with business partner Wendy as a talking point.
The Telegraph reports Liekens, author of ’69 Questions About Sex’ and qualified pyschologist, says children should receive sex education at a very early stage. She believes Belgium is “significantly more liberal” in its approach to the UK advising British parents: “It’s time you took off the blinkers.” She continued:
“Parents should broach the subject of sex as soon as their children can talk. I have two teenage daughters and when they were younger we’d watch Bob the Builder and I’d say: ‘How do you think Bob feels about Wendy? What would they do if they were in love?’
“You don’t have to comb over the details, just demonstrate that you’re happy to be open.”
Liekens, 52, who declares herself “passionate about the power of good sex education in schools” visits educational establishments around the world in her ambassadorial role with the United Nations Population Fund. In an era when children have ready access to online porn she warns that children “are learning about bad sex younger than ever”.
It is compulsory for British state secondary schools to offer sex and relationships education. On the other hand, the thousands of academies, free and faith schools in Britain are not forced to teach the Nation Curriculum so are free to drop the subject. In primary schools the subject of sex education is mostly avoided, certainly until the final years.
In the forthcoming Channel 4 television programme, Sex In Class, the Belgian sexologist who presented her country’s version of the Weakest Link game show, launches “a new king of sex education” in a Lancashire secondary school. Avoiding pre-teens on this occasion, Liekens helps a class of 15- and 16-year-olds tackle everything from hard-core porn to sexual pleasure.
According to the programme website homework includes “the girls exploring their vaginas and the boys shaving their pubic hair.” In other scenes which will doubtless cause controversy, Liekens invited the pupils to rewrite a porn scene.
She is also calling for a GCSE teaching the joys of sex as well as dangers, saying: “Sex education shouldn’t be just about averting risk.”