Contrasting approaches to this
topical and contentious question are debated by:
Simon Blake Director of
the Sex Education Forum and Janine Jolly, health promotion
Peter Hitchens a columnist for the Mail on Sunday
Janine Jolly a health promotion specialist
David J. Landry of the US based Alan Guttmacher Institute
Peter Tatchell human rights activist
Stuart Waiton journalist and researcher
Editors: Dr. Ellie Lee and Tiffany Jenkins Series
Editor, Debating Matters and Institute of Ideas respectively
'We can respond to their (children's)
plea for better sex and relationships education that will help
them to develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills to manage
their relationships and sexual health effectively. Indeed we cannot
afford to do otherwise'.
Director of the Sex Education Forum and
a health promotion specialist.
'The ugly facts are now all on
our side. We do not need to gloat and we should not rub their
noses in the disastrous statistics of abortions, illegitimate
births, one-parent families, divorce, rape, sexual diseases and
the rest. For the important thing is to change these facts for
the better, and therefore if it is at all possible all decent
people should be allies against the disaster which has overtaken
family life in this country'.
columnist for the Mail on Sunday and a former Trotskyist who,
after a spell in the Labour Party, now describes himself as a
'Those promoting abstinence-only-until-marriage....
want to impose their standard of behaviour on Americans who support
more comprehensive approaches. The divide may never be closed.
While respecting those who want their children to have an abstinence-until-marriage
education, as adults we have a responsibility to provide students
with the environment where they can learn vital information.....Young
people need information that is accurate and balanced, so that
they can make informed choices and protect themselves'.
David J. Landry
Senior Research Associate with The Alan Guttmacher Institute,
a nonprofit organization specializing in sexual and reproductive
health research and public education based in New York and Washington,
'Most pupils leave school with
little idea of how to have good sex. They sometimes can't please
themselves, let alone their partners. The end result is bad sex
and mutual dissatisfaction. ....Keeping young people in a state
of sexual ignorance, disempowerment, ineptitude and dissatisfaction
is a form of child abuse. It disfigures lives, creating untold
erotic and emotional misery. The right to sexual health and happiness
is a fundamental human right. It is time the school system prioritised
sexual literacy, alongside literacy in words and numbers, to ensure
that future generations live erotically and emotionally fulfilled
lives in a mature, enlightened sexual democracy'.
human rights activist, specializing in sexual human rights, who
campaigns for earlier, better quality sex education and for an
age of consent of 14 - for everyone: gay, straight and bisexual.
'Through the establishment of
relationship education in schools an area of young people's lives,
which up until recently was left alone, has become both professionalized
and problematized. And rather than allowing young people to develop
their own network of friends to discuss sex and relationships,
an attempt is being made to break the 'power' of the peer group,
and in its place establish a network of teachers, counsellors
and health specialists.......The formalization, the professionalization
and indeed the politicization of sex, and particularly of relationships,
looks set to undermine rather than assist the development of intimate
relationships amongst teenagers'.
community worker, journalist, researcher for the pressure group
Generation Youth Issues, and author of Scared of the Kids: Curfews,
Crime and the Regulation of Young People (Sheffield Hallam University
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