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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 January, 2005, 17:15 GMT
'Ignorance puts children at risk'
Eleanor Coner
Scottish Parent Teacher Council

The Scottish Parent Teacher Council welcomes the launch of the sexual health strategy.

Pupils at gate - general
The SPTC says children must be "fully informed"

We hope that all parties will recognise the need for measured discussion on this subject.

Hopefully they will also recognise the benefits of access to proper and professional information and services.

It is often difficult for parents to come to terms with the fact that their child is a teenager and showing an interest in "grown-up" relationships.

Well, it may be difficult, but parents and others ignore the issue at their peril.

Why have the rates of sexually-transmitted diseases been increasing for the past 20 years?

As a mother, I would hope that my children would feel confident and comfortable enough to talk to me if they had questions about relationships or health

Why is it that Scotland has such high rates of (unwanted) teenage pregnancies?

Is it because Scots like to shy away from the subject of S.E.X. and think that if they don't tell children about it then they won't want to do it?

Isn't it more likely that young people will want to satisfy their curiosity?

As a mother, I would hope that my children would feel confident and comfortable enough to talk to me if they had questions about relationships or health.

But I know that when you are that age, your parents are probably the last ones you want to talk to!

I would hate to think that my children are putting themselves at risk through ignorance and believe that it is far better for young people to grow up fully informed and aware that things can go wrong.

Health-conscious youngsters

Of course some people would say that this is preaching promiscuity - I don't think so and I don't believe the idea touted by some that abstinence is the only answer.

I was recently interested to read that the state of Texas, where young people are actively encouraged not to have sex before marriage, has the highest figures for teenage pregnancies in the USA.

The Scottish Parent Teacher Council is sure that most parents will ignore the misleading comments and the shock/horror headlines.

This new initiative will not mean that nursery and primary school children will be exposed to pornographic material or that young minds will be corrupted.

What we do hope is that the sexual health strategy will help produce a generation of sensible and health-conscious youngsters.



SEE ALSO:
Church anger over sex health plan
27 Jan 05 |  Scotland
HIV figures reach record number
20 Oct 04 |  Scotland
Sex health strategy unveiled
12 Nov 03 |  Scotland
Scotland: Sexual health
19 Feb 04 |  Politics Show


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