Modernise Sex Education

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Modernise Sex Education

This petition had 120 supporters
Bristol Rise started this petition to Rt Hon David Cameron (PM) and

Do you remember those awkward Sex Ed lessons when you were 13 and an embarrassed teacher would put up some pictures of a penis and talk you through how babies are made?

Or perhaps you went to a school who preferred to ignore the fact that you even had genitals, and would continue to tell you that your parents would tell you about "the birds and the bees" when you were "old enough". 

Whichever school you went to, whatever kind of parents you had, I'm sure that you had a lot of questions growing up. Questions about your body, other people's bodies, about what love and sex feel like, about what a relationship is supposed to be like. 

Did you get the answers you wanted in the end? And who were you comfortable enough to ask? 

The majority of teenagers today are not comfortable asking these questions to teachers or parents. Instead, they turn to the internet, and most often to pornography, to seek out some answers.

The result? Far too many teenagers are growing up thinking that sex looks like a porn film, and that men and women's bodies should therefore look like those of porn stars. The consequences of sex, pregnancy, and STIs are played down, and the possibility of being gay is still depicted as something abnormal, or other. Police and therapists are seeing more and more cases of domestic abuse which stem from people having completely unrealistic expectations of sex and relationships.

In the words of Stella Creasy MP, “When we live in a country where 750,000 children witness acts of domestic abuse a year and a third of girls in relationships aged 13-17 have experienced physical or sexual violence in relationships, when one in three women in our world will be beaten or raped in her lifetime, it’s time for all of us to stand up and say enough.”

We need to provide a far more reliable and helpful source for our children, when their key sources of information are currently porn, gossip magazines and other equally confused children. PSHE should not only be a source of factual knowledge, but a regular opportunity for children to ask questions in a safe space, and receive advice when needed.

Making Sex and Relationship Education statutory and standardised is also a key and recurring recommendation from a recent Cross-Party Investigation into unwanted pregnancies.

In light of this, all English and Welsh schools offering the National Curriculum should offer PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) as a statutory, specialist, stand-alone subject from Year 3 to Year 13 offering lessons which: 

 

- are taught by a specialist teacher
-are compulsory
-are regular and are given enough time in the school timetable 
- discuss healthy and consensual sexual relationships, in the context of heterosexual and LGBTI relationships.
- promote a zero tolerance towards abuse and violence
- promote the same rights for boys and girls

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