Sex education in the UK

The problems with sex education are reaching the mainstream newspapers in the UK. It would be great to see an article like this one (from the Times) published here:

Those who can, do, according to the old saying, and those who can’t, teach. That has always seemed to me unfair. However, I have come to think that those who can’t teach, teach sex education.

Judged by its results – not a bad way of judging – sex education has been an utter failure. The increase in sex education here in recent years has coincided with an explosion of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease (STD) far worse than anywhere else in Europe. Since the government’s teenage pregnancy strategy was introduced in 1999, the number of girls having abortions has soared. You might well be tempted to argue that sex education causes sexual delinquency.

This is exactly what we have seen in New Zealand. It is great to see a frank article on the issue. Sex education isn’t working. The solution is not more of the same to younger and younger children, but actually changing tack.

Hat tip: Semper Vita

How can we improve NZ abortion law?

Following on from my previous posts on the morality of abortion, a refutation of pro-choice arguments, and current NZ abortion law, I would now like to discuss ways we can improve the situation and reduce the number of abortions. Some of these ideas are my own, some are Family Party policy, some have been previously suggested by Chuck, and I would be very interested in hearing any other suggestions you may have.

  • Abortion should not be state funded.
    • The state has no money itself, rather it just spends taxpayers money. Regardless of the actual morality of abortion, many taxpayers believe it is immoral. They should not be forced to pay for something they strongly disagree with.
    • If people had to pay for abortions they might think twice about it, and the abortion rate would drop.
  • Life should be defined as starting from conception.
    • This is completely logical, and would simplify the issue enormously. But it would be difficult to get through democratically. This is a goal to aim for, but we must pursue more workable measures at the same time.
  • Marriage should be promoted.
    • Marriage provides the ideal environment to raise children in. If someone gets pregnant while married they are far more likely to keep the baby than if they were pregnant out of wedlock.
  • Parental consent (or at least notification) should be required for teenage abortions.
    • This may directly reduce abortion rates a little.
    • At present, a girl can have sex knowing if she gets pregnant she can have an abortion on the sly and her parents need never know. If she requires parental consent, or even just parental notification, she knows from the start her parents will find out. This may encourage her to make better choices and not get pregnant in the first place.
    • Some object to this because some parents may not treat the girl well about it. But through all of history parents found out when their daughter got pregnant. The current situation where they may not is artificial and invented by the State. Requiring parental consent / notification is just returning to the natural state of society.
  • Sex education needs to be truthful.
    • In my experience of Family Planning, I have found them blatantly lying on a number of occasions (lying about how contraceptives work for example, and the effectiveness of contraceptives against STDs). They promote contraception in a way that encourages sex, then promote abortion as the solution if you get pregnant.
    • Teenagers (and anyone seeking information) need to be told:
      • Sex is to make babies (duh! But currently it is mainly talked about as something fun).
      • If you have sex you may, and probably will eventually, get pregnant.
      • Boys, if you get a girl pregnant, YOU MUST PAY CHILD SUPPORT AND THIS IS HOW MUCH IT COSTS!
      • It is best not to have sex until marriage.
      • If you choose to anyway, these are your options for contraception and this is how they actually work (so teens can avoid those that allow conception but then kill the embryo).
      • This is what abortion is actually like, this is what a baby is like at that age.
      • These are the risks of abortion and the medical issues it can cause for you (e.g. increasing the risk of breast cancer).
      • There are X number of couples currently waiting to adopt a child, and they’d love to have yours if you get pregnant and don’t want to keep it.
      • Here are a list of agencies who offer counselling, adoption services, support for keeping the baby etc.
    • We need to either completely overhaul the Family Planning Association, or just get rid of it.
  • If a woman seeks an abortion, she needs to be given honest information about the procedure, her baby, the medical risks and complications it can cause, and be shown a scan of the baby in the womb to ensure she really knows what she is doing.

If you have any other ideas, stick them in the comments.

Care workers told to help clients masturbate

Ok, now this is just disgusting if the allegations are true. Basically care workers allege that they were instructed to help mentally disabled clients masturbate if that was what they wanted, which they rightly refused to do, and they claim this is asking them to be prostitutes. I fully agree. But we can expect further cases like this in a country where prostitution is legal.

In addition to the entire case being ridiculous and disgusting:

None of the six women had masturbated any clients, including the one remaining employee, who is Maori and said she had been told she was exempt on cultural grounds.

So it is ok to expect white women to act as prostitutes, but not brown women?

The woman who allegedly told the workers they were to assist their clients to masturbate is Claire Ryan, whom I assume is the “Relationships and Sexuality Advisor” by the same name at IHC. If you are interested in the sort of stuff that IHC teaches about sexuality, download their September 05 Networker newsletter. This newsletter discusses disabled children growing up and becoming sexual. Not once does it mention whether it is appropriate for teenagers to become sexually active – it just assumes that they will and parents just have to let them do it.

Very worrying stuff, but not surprising at all – this is the exact same rubbish that Family Planning spouts to teenagers at school. In the few encounters I have had with Family Planning, I have found:

  • A school educator boasting to a 6th-form class about how she had managed to convince 12-year-old boys that if they didn’t masturbate their balls would explode, and thinking this was hillarious.
  • The same woman maintaining in front of the class that you could not catch HPV (virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer) while using a condom, even when challenged, but then admitting privately after the class that she knew full well this was incorrect.
  • A Family Planning nurse claiming that the morning after pill worked by stopping sperm working and preventing conception, not by allowing conception but preventing implantation (the truth, which I regard as an early abortion).
  • A GP who recommends all his patients to ignore everything Family Planning says because he is sick of fixing up all the messes their terrible advice has made for so many of his patients.

This is the state of sex education in NZ. You can walk into Family Planning and get a case of 144 taxpayer-funded condoms for a $3 prescription fee, while Pharmac struggles to fund medication that could potentially save lives. And no-one will even ask you whether you really think you should be having sex at 13 even though it is illegal.

This is why we need the Family Party to push abstinence first as the best option.