BMEWS
 
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calendar   Sunday - October 26, 2008

A NEW QUIZ FOR FIVE YEAR OLDS?  (NAME THAT BODY PART) couldn’t make it up folks.

Alright it isn’t really a quiz but heck .... it is bizarre.

Some short while ago I posted this subject and then forgot about it with so much else going on.
Well, apparently the powers that be haven’t forgotten and so we re-visit the subject with a mom who also writes for the Telegraph.

She makes legitimate points.  Even as a non parent, I’m certain I would not be too comfortable with this if I were.
She’s right.  There really is something ‘creepy’ about this.

Must they know about sex at five?

By Jenny McCartney
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 26/10/2008

One thing stumps me about the news that the Government is to provide compulsory “sex and relationships” lessons for children from the age of five: how much can there really be to say?

On the subject of relationships, obviously, one could go on forever, recommending lengthy homework on everything from Jane Austen to Leonard Cohen lyrics. On sex, I would have thought there was rather less to discuss: one could surely exhaust the topics of contraception, pregnancy, abortion and sexually transmitted diseases in a matter of weeks at the age of 11, perhaps with a brief refresher course at 13. After that, in what precise style young people proceed with sex in later life is surely a matter for them: there must be some areas to which even the omnipresent hand of the nanny state does not reach.

The news that there will now be a “naming of parts” session for five-year-olds, however - in which they learn the correct words for genitals and the differences between the sexes - gives me the creeps. By the age of five, many children have their own names for their private parts, often of a friendly, silly variety that will do them perfectly well until they are older. Is there really any point in school insisting on teaching them otherwise?

If a friend or relative suddenly insisted on lecturing your five-year-old about the official name for their genitals, apropos of nothing, I imagine they would be asked to shut up pretty sharpish. I am at something of a loss as to why this interference should be thought preferable coming from a primary teacher. And yet a sex education comic - Let’s Grow With Nisha and Joe - is already being promoted to primary schools. We learned to read with Dick and Dora: I shudder to think what they would do with that pair today.

The great irony in the Government setting itself up as the supreme educator on sexual and emotional matters is that, when it is given the task of actually looking after confused and vulnerable children all by itself, it is the worst parent imaginable. Girls who have grown up in care are sexually active earlier than other teenagers, and are 2.5 times more likely to become pregnant. A quarter of girls leaving care are already mothers or pregnant.

These girls are subjected to the same sex education at school as everyone else: I would be extremely surprised if any of them did not know in theory how to avoid having a baby. The real point, surely, is that they do not greatly want to avoid it. The emotional isolation they experience during their period in the unfeeling British care system means that they gravitate towards men as a source of affection and attention. The prospect of motherhood then offers them both an acknowledged social status and perhaps a reason for continued financial support from the state. Their early pregnancy is entirely logical, for any state that cares to read its own shortcomings written in the logic.

This, to a lesser degree, holds true for very many teenage girls who “accidentally” find themselves pregnant. The phenomenon is not helped by the fact that at the moment there is a wealth of information on what it means to have sex and very little on what it means to be in sole charge of a small baby that cries round the clock.

I believe in the good sense of basic sex education at school for older children, even if my own was pretty much confined to a terrifying film of a woman giving birth, and a hilarious, crackling 1960s film about male puberty called From Boy to Man. (We never got to see From Girl to Woman, despite being primed for yet more helpless laughter: the projector broke.)

There is a danger, however, that any philosophy that mainly concentrates on the somewhat deceptive notion of “safe sex” and the judicious use of contraception is in fact misleading. If a teenager doesn’t think that he or she is ready for the life-changing complications that might arise from sex - and few are - then the best advice is not to do it at all. Otherwise, they should be warned that contraception is very far from infallible, and they would be advised to double up on their methods.

I yearn for the day when “sex and relationships” lessons actually do something to make teenage behaviour wiser, and when lessons include: “Just because he sleeps with you doesn’t mean he loves you” and “New mum Mary can’t go out for two years. It’s 3am and the baby’s screaming with colic.” Sadly, the glum news that Jim Knight, the Schools Minister, has decided instead to start badgering the nation’s five-year-olds into naming their private parts doesn’t lead me to think that will happen any time soon.

for more:
http://tinyurl.com/6kttyo


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/26/2008 at 09:02 AM   
Filed Under: • EducationNanny StateSexUK •  
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