This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

October 27, 2008
Britain mandates sex education for young children

Damien Hirst’s “The Virigin Mother” statue was installed at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 2006.

The British government has made sex education mandatory for all schools in England in an effort to curb its high teen pregnancy rate. About 39,000 girls under 18 became pregnant in 2006 — the highest rate in western Europe.

Children as young as five will receive lessons on topics such as body parts and reproduction, and subjects will become more sophisticated as children grow older. The mandate has sparked anger, and some have condemned the new curriculum.

The “Catholic Commentary” blog from England outlines questions and concerns about the program, including its implementation into religious schools and its inclusion of marriage as a matter for discussion.

The “Hello Blog,” based in Wales, touts the new curriculum and its potential for reducing teen pregnancy.

Blogger “Solomon Hezekiah” argues that sex education is fighting fire with fire.

An editorial at The Times Online calls the law harmful, pointing out that children mature at different ages and teachers vary in their teaching style and moral attitudes.

“Stuart Wood” expresses anger that there was no public debate or consultation before the government’s decision.

The “WhyNotSmile” blog finds the controversy excessive and asks, “Is there anything more likely to put teenagers off sex than putting them in a classroom and talking about it?”

In the U.S., mandatory sex education has become an issue in the presidential race.

“Learning about sex before learning to read?,” asks one advertisement from John McCain that references Barack Obama’s vote for a 2003 bill that would have expanded age-appropriate sex education in Illinois classrooms had it passed.

Photos courtesy of Flickr users Suzanna and browbrick under a Creative Commons license.




I think this is a ludicrous idea. Parents should be the ones teaching their kids about this aspect of life, NOT government. It’s not a question of “sin”, its a question of not being able to process this information at the age of FIVE.


It is a very intelligent move taken by the government..children at a very young age are getting fascinated for sex and committing many crimes..It is a good move in deed..


Sex education in young age is naturally a good cause has in western countries in very young age children commit crimes like rape murder etc.This education can develop their way of thinking and avoid them in such crimes. They can learn how to keep them safe from spreading diseases.And their curiosity may end by sex education.


Hi there,
I feel that teaching children sex at a young age is not good, because its natural after sometimes they only came to know about it according to the development field.This is my suggestion.


Teaching children sex education at such a young age can only help them as they get older to make the choices that are good for them when it comes to sexual activity. Education is the key to helping the young people of the worl to make the right choices.


I think that teching chihldren sex education at a young age is very good, and will only benefit children in positive ways. Look, if kids, or teenagers of going to have sex, they are going to have it, no matter what…. so by teaching children proper birth control techniques, how to stay safe and how the human body works only puts them in better more mature situations. Sex is natural and i think that people need to stop freaking out about people being sinned or dying because they have it.. its going to happen no matter what.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Produced by Creative News Group LLC     ©2021 WNET.ORG     All rights reserved

Distributed by American Public Television