The Sunday Times
PARENTS should avoid trying to convince their teenage children of the difference between right and wrong when talking to them about sex, a new government leaflet is to advise.
Instead, any discussion of values should be kept “light” to encourage teenagers to form their own views, according to the brochure, which one critic has called “amoral”.
Talking to Your Teenager About Sex and Relationships will be distributed in pharmacies from next month as part of an initiative led by Beverley Hughes, the children’s minister.
It advises: “Discussing your values with your teenagers will help them to form their own. Remember, though, that trying to convince them of what’s right and wrong may discourage them from being open.”
The leaflet suggests that parents should start the “big talk” with children as young as possible, . The best way to raise the topic may be while performing mundane tasks such as “washing the car . . . washing up, watching TV, etc”, it says.
The leaflet provides technical information on different forms of contraception, from condoms to implants, and will reignite the row over the government’s “value-free” approach to sex education.
Simon Calvert, attacked the leaflet, saying: “The idea that the government is telling families not to pass on their values is outrageous.
“Preserving children’s innocence is a worthy goal. We would like to see more of that kind of language rather than this amoral approach where parents are encouraged to present their children with a smorgasbord of sexual activities and leave them to make up their own minds.”
Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist, said […] “We do not know what is right and wrong; right and wrong is relative, although your child does need clear guidelines,” she said.
Hughes said the government “[…] does have a role to play in supporting parents and giving them access to advice and information”.
Comments from the Sunday Times website:
A quote from a sex education leaflet given to me in Year 8, when talking about different types of condoms
“Its a good idea to experiment with different types [of condom] to find the one you both like best” I’ll leave you to make up your own mind.
A 14 year old Student, At School, England