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Should Young Children Be Taught About Sex?

30/03/2011 12:07 | Updated 22 May 2015

The Government's health watchdog has recommended that primary school children should be taught about sex from the age of five.

The Daily Mail reports that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence is now set to write to every primary school telling them they should start teaching sex education to five-year-olds.

However there has been criticism, with fears that teaching children about sex will encourage them to experiment at a young age.

The Daily Mail says that recommendations from NICE include teaching children how to put a condom on, and the dangers of drinking too much.

The NICE report says that that education on sex and relationships is "more effective if it is introduced before young people first have sex" and can help children put off having sex until they are ready.

"It does not cause them to have sex at an earlier age, or to have more sex, or sex with more partners, and nor does it increase the number of unwanted or teenage conceptions and abortions," the guidance says.

But there are still plenty of people who believe the opposite. Norman Wells, of pressure group Family and Youth Concern, told the Daily Mail: "The team that drafted the guidance included lobby groups with an agenda to break down moral standards and redefine the family.

"Organisations with a commitment to marriage and traditional family values were not represented."

Margaret Morrissey, of lobby group Parents Out Loud, told the Mail: "They tell me that once you give indepth information about sex and drugs, 90 per cent will go and experiment – and there's no way back from that."

However, Simon Blake, of young people's sexual health charity Brook, who helped draw up the guidance, told the newspaper: "It's a myth that sex education encourages children to be more promiscuous or have sex at an early age.

"In fact, evidence demonstrates this type of education helps children and young people resist pressures to get involved in activities that might damage their health."

Britain's teenage pregnancy rate is the highest in western Europe - so clearly something needs to be done.

What do you think of these proposals?

Source: Daily Mail

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