Thursday, 18 September 2008

Sex pamphlet for 6-year-olds horrifies family lobby

The country’s biggest sexual health charity has published a sex education pamphlet for six-year-olds to encourage earlier discussion of the facts of life.

The 12-page comic-style booklet, which will be distributed to schools, asks children to identify the physical differences between boys and girls and name their body parts properly.

One puzzle asks children to draw a line from the words “vagina” and “testicles” to the correct areas of a picture of a naked girl and boy.

The pamphlet from the FPA — formerly the Family Planning Association — entitled Let’s Grow with Nisha and Joe, which will be shown to pupils by schools unless parents opt out, was immediately condemned by family campaigners as “a very worrying development”. They said that years of sex education had done nothing to tackle the teenage pregnancy rate, still the highest in Europe, and starting the education even earlier would make the problem worse.

The FPA countered that 6 was not too young to start conversations about sex. On the contrary it was a good chance to get the conversation going because children were not self-conscious or embarrassed about their bodies at that age.

“The booklet answers the questions that six-year-olds are already asking about themselves, their families and the world around them,” said Julie Bentley, chief executive of the FPA. Read more

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