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Young mums: "It's down to parents to "sit down and talk properly and openly with their children" about sex

8 February 2018

Schools should place parents at the heart of their decision making on sex and relationships education

A mother who fell pregnant at the age of 14 has emphasised the importance of parents talking to their children about sex.

A BBC article has reported the views of a group of mothers who had their first child as teenagers, it relation to the revised sex and relationships education (SRE) curriculum currently being drawn up for schools in England.

One lady, Christina, says that while schools do cover sex education, it's down to parents to "sit down and talk properly and openly with their children". "I made sure that I informed my daughter myself, as her mother, so whatever the school did was just a reinforcement of what I had told her myself.

"What I used to say to my daughter was, 'Be careful who you give yourself to because once you've given yourself, you can't take it back."

Dangers of meaningless sex

The women also spoke about how premature sexual experience left them "feeling used and dirty."

Christina said that getting involved in early sexual experiences can often be about underlying mental health issues such as low self-esteem. "If someone's missing something in their life or they've had a trauma or a loss and they're desperately seeking to fill the void, they might search to fill that void in the means of a sexual relationship with somebody.

"And I think possibly, on reflection, maybe that's what I did - I was looking to fill the void of being adopted and not knowing my biological family, " she continued. "So I decided to embark on these relationships hoping that they'd be meaningful - they were meaningful to me, but they weren't meaningful to the people that I was involved with."

What is the answer?

The group of mothers emphasised the need for any new sex education curriculum to focus on matters of consent, coercion, and the dangers of the internet. However, Antonia Tully, of SPUC's Safe at School Campaign, says that they are looking for answers in the wrong places.

"The sad experiences of these two women are the legacy of several decades of values-free, explicit sex education in schools, where parents have been side-lined and undermined.

"Lessons on the true meaning of human sexuality coupled with a proper understanding of the purpose and nature of sex and marriage would do much more to build self esteem in young women and help them to say 'No'. In addition, schools should place parents at the heart of their decision making on this subject.

Respond to the consultation

"We are calling on parents in England to respond to the government’s consultation to propose authentic and life-affirming teaching on human sexuality to the government. Our children are too precious to hand over to the state to take over this critical aspect of their education".

The Government's consultation on sex and relationships education ends on 12 February. View SPUC's guidance and respond to the consultation.

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