Sex relationship education (SRE) in schools which often is seen as inappropriate by parents to teach children at a very young age whereas some may agree to the idea of teaching sex education to children at a young age. Some part of the world it seemed to be appropriate. Sex in general is taboo in western society (Alldred, 2016) and a topic not talk about to children even though it is a beneficial topic which have both positive and negative impact on a child`s developing this is why some parents do not want their children to be taught in school at a young age. (ibid) In some places children are not being taught sex education and in more places than ever before including music videos and social media is playing a big part. Children who were taught at a very young are more aware of birth control and how to protect themselves from any harm of disease. This following assignment will explore on the history of sex education, children`s rights to sex education as well as the positive and negative impact on whether sex education is taught in schools from young age and onwards.
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From the parent’s perspective, sex education should not be taught in schools this often involved protecting children from the knowledge of sex even throughout history the idea of children being innocent and vulnerable is not new and this dates back to the period of the 7th century onwards. During this time according to Rousseau (Marshall, 1994) all children were born naturally good and innocent with the need to be protected. This is because of the construction of childhood as we still tend to protect our children from the knowledge of sex people used to have a negative message a child who knows anything about se is not innocent he or she is more likely to be corrupt or wicked. (Cited in the British Library, 2016) This was further supported by Robinson, 2013 that a child seeming to have a good understanding about sexuality is seen as non-innocent or even a corrupted child.
People often misunderstand the word “sex education” wrong, it does not necessarily mean sexual intercourse. In fact, sexuality is more about self-image, developing your own identity, gender and learning about your choices and boundaries limitation as well as to protecting yourself from any harm. (Collective Evolution, 2016. While protecting our children can have both positive as well as negative site throughout their life however their health and well-being are at forefront. Therefore children who were taught at a young age are aware of birth control and are less likely to avoid teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections then those who were taught at later age are more vulnerable to pregnancy and only a two-fifths are aware of birth control (Marsiglio and Mott, 1986). Not always has sex education be harmful to the child`s development, as a research has shown according to NSPCC, 2016 one of ways to prevent all these negative impact is to start talking to your child at a very young age even in the house. By starting talking while they are still in primary school this will also develop their understanding of sex as well as encourage to ask question. Not only does sex education gives children a better understanding and knowledge about it as well as where babies come from but also helps them to protect themselves from any harm (Roleff, 1999).
Current law and law in general
Sex and relationship education is currently compulsory in United Kingdom from age 11 onwards. It includes teaching children about sexuality and sexual health as well as reproduction. It does not involves early sexual activity (DFEE 2000). But only few parts are compulsory which covers the national curriculum for science, parents have the option to withdraw their children from some parts or if they wish all parts of the sex and relationship education if they wish. To make sure the parents understand that the choice to withdraw their children from that lesson, all school must provide a written policy on sex education which should be access able to all parents for free (ibid).
Which is also stated in the Education Act 1996 in section 405 and yet sex education is seen as something bad but the current law in the UK which allowed to have sexual intercourse at the age of 16 years to protect the children to have sex under the age of 16 years old. Any type of sexual connection under the age of 13 years is prohibited to have any sort of sexual activity. This way the current law is protecting the children from any abuse and it is important for a child to understand how to protect themselves and have the right to say no (NSPCC, 2016).
The current situation in the United Kingdom is children still don’t have the right to sex education, schools have to cover the biology part human body and parents have the right to withdraw their children from that on lesson (DFEE 2000) additionally, children do not get the opportunity to get sex education lesson at home and if they do it is not same as the school.The reason behind is that majority of the parents and educator find this topic difficult to teach children (Welsh, 2001) these difficulties simply leads back to the history as well as the culture as it always has been a taboo topic and that is why they are finding difficult and due to the society we are living is playing a big part too (Robinson, 2013).
Most parents do not think sex education should be taught to children in school from a young age. Parents are also against the limitation of sex knowledge regarding their child due concern that it could lead to explorations into more details concerning sex, child being excited into learning about their sexuality too early, exploring beyond limit that could leading to graphics. (Roleff, 1999) reason behind this is that children who did not had sex education in school are more likely to be the one who are lack of knowledge as well as misunderstanding and unnecessary of fear. (ibid)
Although sex education is seen as a negative topic even throughout the history as well as the culture view of point and the society we are living is playing a big part. But has both negative and positive impact on a child`s development. Research has shown that children that were taught sex education in school at a very young age are more aware of birth plan, teenage pregnancy as well as abuse. I personally agree with the Netherlands and other part of the European country that our children should have the right to sex education and encourage them to ask question for their understanding which is also a part of their development then those who did not had sex education are more likely to be the one who are vulnerable and luck of knowledge and skills which also can lead to low esteem and confident. As this education will prepare them to a mature adult life having knowledge about it and be able to protect yourself and not doing anything without your will. Even though parents often refuse to let their children be taught in school, schools are responsible to provide these kind of lesson for the children in school. Therefore I believe sex education should be taught in schools for many reason as mentioned for both positive and negative site.
Haydon, D. (2002) Children’s rights to sex and sexuality education in Frankin, B. (2002) The handbook of children’s rights Jenks, C. (2003) Childhood. London, Routledge
DFEE (2000) Sex and Relationships Education Guidance http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/s/sex%20and%20relationship%20education%20guidance.pdf
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Collective Evolution. (2016). In the Netherlands Sex Education Starts in Kindergarten: Here’s What They Tell Them & Why. [Online] Available at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/06/22/in-the-netherlands-sex-education-starts-in-kindergarten-heres-what-they-tell-them-why/ [Accessed 6 Dec. 2016].
The British Library. (2016). Perceptions of childhood. [Online] Available at: https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/perceptions-of-childhood [Accessed 5 Dec. 2016].
Marshall, J. (1994). John Locke. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Marsiglio, W. and Mott, F. (1986). The impact of sex education on sexual activity, contraceptive use and premarital pregnancy among American teenagers. 1st ed. Guttmacher Institute.
NSPCC. (2016). Healthy sexual behaviour in children and young people. [Online] Available at: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/healthy-sexual-behaviour-children-young-people/ [Accessed 17 Dec. 2016].
Alldred, P. (2016). Get Real About Sex. [Online] Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=2MVEBgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=uncrc+children+right+sex+education&ots=Y4zGD3Tf4T&sig=YaECQKIWidLmChsJsrUfsSrrIUo#v=onepage&q=uncrc%20children%20right%20sex%20education&f=false [Accessed 22 Dec. 2016].
Roleff, T. (1999). Sex education. 1st ed. San Diego, Calif.: Greenhaven Press.
Robinson, K.H. (2013), Innocence, Knowledge and the Construction of Childhood. Abingdon: Routledge.
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