Thursday, 24 October 2013

The pill for 13 year olds?

Here`s an example of creating a panic and then jumping in with the solution, a device often used to push forward an unpopular political agenda:
From the Telegraph
Controversial policies such as providing sex education at a younger age and free contraception for people as young as 13 are required to bring down the rate of teenage pregnancies, according to a Scottish Parliament inquiry.
A new national strategy is needed to tackle the problem in Scotland which has among the highest rates in Western Europe, the Health and Sport Committee concluded after a six-month investigation.
Convener Duncan McNeil said: "Firstly I want to make it clear that this inquiry was not about demonising the thousands of teenage parents that have children, some of which are planned.

Are these planned teenage pregnancies part of the statistics which have caused the panic I wonder?

From the Daily Record which pre-dates the article in the Telegraph above:
A SEX education DVD axed for being too graphic is still being used in Scots primary schools. Living and Growing features explicit footage of a naked cartoon couple having sex. And Channel 4, who produced it, have withdrawn it from sale in England after a storm of protest.
Now furious mums in Lanarkshire have demanded that it is taken out of use in schools in the area. Many parents say they were not made fully aware of the nature of the film...
The film includes a section aimed at children as young as five, asking them to name the body parts on a drawing of a naked man and woman.
Another segment, intended for eight year-olds, shows the cartoon couple chasing each other around a bedroom with a feather before having sex.

A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Council, who was not named, said that the vast majority of parents support the programme but those who do not can withdraw their children. Surprisingly, he went on to say that the video had been used in schools throughout the country [my emphasis] for more than 15 years.

Meanwhile a Scottish Government spokesman, also unnamed, had this to say:
 “It is for local authorities and schools to decide which resources are used with pupils,     ensuring that all content is appropriate for the children being taught.”
So ...

If the article is an accurate report and this type of sex education has been going on for 15 years with the aim of reducing teenage pregnancies and the theory is correct we should expect to see a decrease in teenage pregnancy rates in Scotland should we not?  That is, if the strategy is a sound one. Then what is the moral panic about?  Something does not add up. But there is evidence that the Scottish Government is completely out of touch with parents.

In the blogging world, a rough and ready poll has been done to survey the popularity of sex education for even younger children. The result was that over 90% disapproved. See Subrosa`s blog:

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