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Friday, November 28, 1997 Published at 15:06 GMT

Talking Point

Sex education: Should it be taught in schools?

A forum of parents, teachers and health workers in Britain has proposed a five-point plan to ensure that children receive effective sex education in schools.

The Charter, drawn up by the Sex Education Forum, calls for sex education to be made compulsory as part of Personal and Social Education (PSE) when the national curriculum is revised in 2000.

The Charter says that teachers should be taught the skills and knowledge to support young people's personal and social development, and that there should be statutory guidance on teacher-pupil confidentiality.

Should sex education be compulsory in schools? What do you think?
Your Reaction:

- Being at public school, I learnt all I know about sex from a packet of biscuits. I feel this has caused serious problems with my mental state now that I am 21. If sex had been taught to my generation in the cold, clinical environs of the class room, I feel I would now be best able to cope with men and their urges. So yes, I agree whole heartedly in sex education becoming compulsory.
Sarah Jungle, England
- I believe that sex education should be compulsory in schools. However, the education authorities providing it also have to make sure that the teachers or people giving the lectures are sensitive to the matter, so the children do not grow up believing sex to be 'bad' or 'dirty'. But on the other hand they shouldn't be lead to believe that it is something they have to do.
Mandy, UK
- Sex is a taboo word at my daughter's school (she's nearly 9). Children are punished for using it. Yet she hears it used everyday in a perfectly natural way, on TV etc. What is more, there is a sex shop on her way to school advertising "Sex Toys". I want her to grow up with a healthy, sensible attitude to sex. These double standards and mixed messages are ridiculous. Before they start teaching about sex, I think the teachers need educating themselves.
Dennis Smithers, England

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