The government is proposing that as a result of the large percentage of children of 16 and under who are becoming pregnant, and the level of sexually transmitted disease, they propose to have sex education of five-year-olds and upwards in the schools. I often use an analogy to discover the snags in a problem. If you teach a child of any age, depending on its ability, how to pick a lock, its imagination, and its interest, would have it experimenting with picking locks at every opportunity. Sexuality is a highly complex, psychological and physical change in outlook, and physique, as a child grows up, and the rate of change, the reactions to change, could be said to be unique to each individual, and are mainly dependent upon information and association, and hence this proposal has a high level of risk
>From the past on until WW 2, there was a strong taboo on the discussion of sexual matters between children, and some adults, and this applied pretty well across the board. Looking back to the period just before the war, our secondary school tended to have a social relationship with a nearby girls’ secondary school, with the result that some members of the fifth and sixth forms would gravitate at the end of the day to meet some of the girls. The whole thing was totally innocent; to my knowledge not only was there no petting, even kissing was not practised. In retrospect I think it was as much because we were generally totally ignorant where it came to sexual matters, and the jokes that were passed among the boys, would today be considered puerile. The war put an end to that, because we were scattered like chaff in a wind, by evacuation. The war also tended to divide the sexes, men and women were cut off from relationships outside the services for long periods of time, which made a return to quasi-civilian life, when they were on leave, to be totally surreal. In consequence, the mores that functioned before, were now steamrollered and relationships were less permanent. After the war there was a period in civilian life, of scarcity of major proportions, which in turn put us back more than the four years of the war, with the result we were so busy catching up, we were probably living at home, under the rigours we had had before we left.
I suggest that teaching children of any age the facts of life, from basic association to deep sexual relationships, has so many pitfalls, that it is the reason adults over the years have avoided taking on the task. Similarly I believe that not every teacher who will be required to give these lessons will be adequate to the task. This again is one of these broad brush attacks on a problem by the government, without a trial run on a small number of children, whose ages are within the range of those who are currently becoming pregnant and or suffering sexually transmitted diseases. The silly 60s, coupled with unbridled sex as a daily diet of TV, have torn away much of the reticence, and consideration, our generation took for granted. I believe the clock has run so fast that it will be very difficult if not almost impossible to turn it back, and sex education, which includes and possibly underlines the mechanics of intercourse, will open the door to more rather than less abuse, and possibly at an earlier age. The government is opening a Pandora’s box.