MPs have been warned that British schools are offering illegal advice to pupils after information saying that gay or straight oral and penetrative sex reflects “positive choices” in the life of a 13-year old was sent to all schools by the sexual health charity Brook.
During her appearance at the Education Select Committee, Sarah Carter from the Family Education Trust said that some of the advice given to young people was against the law. She pointed out that the law is clear that children should not be sexually active until they are at least 16-years-old, whatever the view of experts. As a result, some of what is taught in sex and relationships education (SRE) is not lawful.
Brook’s guidance is not intended to form a part of SRE in and of itself. Instead they have created a traffic light system of sexual behaviour that they claim will help teachers identify unhealthy or dangerous sexual behaviour. Amongst the “green activities” listed for 9-year-olds were kissing and masturbation, whilst teachers are told to have no concerns about ‘consensual’ gay oral sex for 13-year-olds. This means they are considered “safe and healthy”.
In her evidence Sarah Carter raised concerns about the Brook document saying: “It states that young people who are consensually sexually active from the age of 13, [that] this is normal behaviour and development.
“Whereas, actually, the law states that a young person should wait until they are 16 at least, never mind if they are ready or not. So quite often what’s taught in SRE isn’t always lawful.
“If a teacher has a moral standpoint that young people should be sexually active from the age of 13 then that’s what they are going to communicate to their classroom, when actually that’s a value that parents may not share. They may like their young person to wait before they are sexually active.”
Professor David Paton, told the Daily Mail it was wrong to suggest that having sex at a young age is healthy and normal. He said: “There’s an awful lot of evidence that early sexual activity is associated with all sorts of adverse outcomes including early pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases but also mental health issues and adverse academic outcomes.”
There is now widespread concern amongst traditionalists that laws are being ignored by education professionals that disagree with current laws.