Half of Parents Unhappy With Sex Education In Schools

According to a new survey, parents are not happy about the way that sex education is taught in our schools. The independent baby product review site www.babychild.org.uk polled over 1732 parents across the UK who had children in the 5-11 age group. This was to determine their opinion on how they felt about their children learning about sex at school.

When they were asked the question of whether they agree with sex education being taught in schools from a young age, 59% responded with a ‘No’. Although sex education isn’t a compulsory subject, it is widely taught in schools and is one of the most hotly debated amongst parents. Of the 59% who said it shouldn’t be taught in a classroom environment, 41% thought that it was an inappropriate subject for children, while 28% thought that it should be an ‘opt-in’ subject.

This would effectively give parents the choice as to how they wanted their children to learn about sex. It is clearly a sensitive subject and the main issue seemed to be the age at which children starting receiving sex education. More schools teach sex education than don’t and the parents think they should be consulted about such subjects.

A further 22% thought that ‘it might encourage children to ask more about sexuality and sex,’ whilst one in ten, 9%, feared that ‘sex would be trivialized,’ if taught to younger children in schools.

According to the research, just under half of the total respondents, 48%, also thought that sex education should not be part of the school curriculum until at least the age of 13 and, even then, the majority, 65%, said it should mostly be about contraception. 36% claimed that they thought it should focus more on relationships between men and women.

Furthermore, when asked ‘Have you already been asked about sex by your children?’ just under two third, 61%, answered ‘yes.’ 47% of these same parents admitted that their child was aged between 4 and 5 when they first asked the question, whilst 36% said they were aged between 6 and 7 when they first asked.
When asked ‘How did you react when you were asked about sex by your child?’ over a third, 38%, admitted to feeling ‘embarrassed.’ One in three, 32%, ‘didn’t know what to say,’ whilst 13% ‘redirected their children to the 2nd parent’ for them to deal with it and 7% just ‘ignored the question.’

Andy Barr, co-founder of BabyChild.org.uk, commented on the study’s findings:

“We wanted to ask parents how they felt with regards to sex education at school and the fact that it is a subject taught to many children. I am not surprised by the results of the study, with the majority of parents against the idea of sex education in a school environment. This is a sensitive subject and parents have their own way to approach it and want to control what their children know, even more so at a young age.”

He continued:
“Children are constantly exposed to sexuality with TV, magazines and through various other forms of media. It’s our role to make sure that what they hear, know or learn is suitable for their age.”

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