While everyone needs to be taught about consent, it needs to be done in a way that focuses on how more communication, although awkward to begin with, is likely to enable more pleasurable experiences in the longer run, rather than simply teaching that consent is important so that you don't get in trouble with the law.
The Department for Education's recent announcement that Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) will be mandatory in schools, starting at age 4, is one that may scare some teachers. Sex is often seen as a taboo subject, even in general society, and for a teacher speaking to a classroom full of children delivering SRE could be an embarrassing prospect.
High quality SRE should not be a privilege. It should be a right to ensure that every young person can make safe and responsible decisions about their own bodies and lives and respect and care for others in equal relationships.
It's hard to fathom that it's 2017, and Sex Education is still being brushed under the carpet by our government. We're still hearing those classic moral panics about schools 'promoting' homosexuality or underage sex as excuses not to make it mandatory in every school.
I think it's a shame that it is impolite to bring up glory holes in most conversations, but I understand that isn't everyone's cup of tea. But I do think it would be darn super if we were able to talk about some sex openly.
Since Labour Tried To Improve School Sex Education In 2010, Arguments In Favour Have Only Become Stronger
If there was ever a time for the Government to reconsider their opposition to statutory SRE, it is now. That is why, later today, I will lead a Parliamentary debate calling on the Government to finally make SRE a statutory requirement in all state-funded schools - including academies, free schools and any new grammar schools which they set up.
What next? We support organisations like 2BU. They are what is saving young peoples' lives whilst we're waiting for the government to catch up. We work against the disturbing rise in homophobic hate crime by talking openly about LGBT+ affairs. We take advantage of our privilege to protect those members of our community who are more vulnerable than ourselves.
Labour have always known that education matters, it's why in Government we expanded and updated sex education and why in the Digital Economy Bill, we are taking the first steps towards developing statutory online sex education for the smartphone generation; helping children navigate the online world in a safe environment where they can ask questions and have any concerns answered.
The Minister says in the letter she will 'carefully consider' updating the official guidance on SRE that was published 15 years ago. But even they can make this meet the needs of LGBT young people, not all schools have to use it.
Education secretary Nicky Morgan has been slammed by AIDS campaigners for her decision not to make sex education compulsory