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Telegraph campaign for better sex ed “a slap in the face for parents” says leading parent advocacy group

3 September 2013

London, 3 September 2013: The “Telegraph Wonder Women” campaign for better sex education is a slap in the face for every parent in this country, said Antonia Tully of Safe at School, a campaign of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), which supports and advises parents facing unacceptable sex education in their children's schools.

"Children and teenagers accessing online pornography is a growing problem which urgently needs to be addressed, but I have no confidence that including pornography in updated sex education, as the NSPCC recommends, will make young people safer," said Mrs Tully, a mother of three teenage children.

Mrs Tully continued: "The NSPCC is a member of the Sex Education Forum (SEF) which has published an online magazine about how to teach school pupils about pornography. The content of the SEF magazine makes it abundantly clear that pornography lessons will not be about how to avoid pornography. These lessons are all about dangling pornography in front of teenagers with the absurd expectation that aroused adolescents will calmly analyse whether the images they are looking are "real" or photo-shopped. This madness will drive teenagers further into pornography."

Claire Perry MP, an adviser to David Cameron on "preventing commercialisation and sexualisation" of children, is calling for government guidelines on teaching sex education to be redrawn. The current guidelines on sex and relationships education include numerous references to the importance of involving parents in teaching children about sexual issues. Safe at School believes that the government should be emphasising these guidelines and supporting parents, particularly in teaching their children about how to avoid pornography.

Mrs Tully said: "Parents have been systematically side-lined on sex education and have been made to feel that they are too stupid and inadequate to talk to their own children about sexual issues. No wonder, according to The Daily Telegraph, school children are three times more likely to go online for advice on sex and relationships rather than their parents."

SPUC Safe at School launched a nationwide petition in August calling on the Secretary of State for Education to prohibit the promotion of pornography in schools.

For press enquires please contact Antonia Tully on: 07926 007 175 or 020 8407 3463

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