Now, I know it's going to be a while before I have to worry about teaching Jess about the birds and the bees but given that I'm a sexual health and contraception nurse this is a topic close to my heart.
The teaching of sexual health and contraception in schools has long been a contentious topic. To my mind it's perfectly obvious that young people need to be aware of the risks of having sex and be in complete possession of the knowledge of how to go about things safely before they get down and dirty, apparently there are some (unfortunately some in our present government) who disagree with me.
I have come across an article in the Guardian about Nadine Dorries who seems to think that teaching abstinence to girls between the ages of 13 and 16 is the way forward. This is her blog and it seems that she's very pleased with herself as the House of Parliament has voted to allow her to have her bill read.
To give her her due, she doesn't just want abstinence taught on its own but wants it taught alongside sex education. And in theory I don't disagree with that idea. Part of sex education should be the legal aspect, the psychological and emotional aspect and the fact that you can and should say "no" if you don't want to do it and this should be listened to.
But why the blue rubbery fuck should this only be taught to girls? And only those above the age of 13? If you only teach this to girls it puts all the emphasis on them to control the situation and pops us in a time machine back to the 50s where boys are all ravening mindless beasts intent on getting their end away and girls are frigid if they say no and sluts if they say yes. This is not empowering young women but quite the opposite.
Surely it'd be better to try to include in sex education lessons the importance of having respect for each other and if one partner isn't ready then you don't do it but if you are both ready then go ahead but do it safely. We do live in a highly sexualised society, it's everywhere and there is no putting the cat back in the bag. People like Nadine need to understand that and move with the times or we are letting another generation of young people down.
Daft bloody cow, but unfortunately not at all surprising given this government.