Why does sex education fail so often?

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    Why does sex education fail so often?

    I know this can be a sensitive subject, and this is a serious question, although I've posted it in 'Take a Break'. I hope no-one minds.

    Why does Britain still have one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Europe? This is anecdotal, I know, but it brought the reality of the problem home to me fairly sharply the other day : my nephew (16) tells me that of his year group of 200 at school, who did their GCSEs last summer, four girls are at least six months pregnant and one of them is seeking paternity tests from five potential fathers (some older, some younger than she is). If the statistics are to be believed, between 15 and 25 more in that year group will have had terminations. I would imagine that most people will find this troubling, at least.

    How do you think should sex education be delivered to children/young people? How much/what should they be told, when and by whom? And if you can remember, how useful/appropriate was the sex education you received at school or from parents/family?
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

    #2
    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
    Why does Britain still have one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Europe?
    'Cos dey is well fit, innit?
    Health Warning


    I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

    All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

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      #3
      maybe they should just get the injection at puberty. Then at least they won't get pregnant.
      Best Regards

      PI Guy

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        #4
        Originally posted by PI Guy View Post
        maybe they should just get the injection at puberty. Then at least they won't get pregnant.
        What - be routinely injected [with contraceptive hormones], you mean? All adolescent girls, or just the ones who ask for the injection?
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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          #5
          it's just up for discussion but yes its an option.
          Best Regards

          PI Guy

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            #6
            Many girls do ask for - and are given - this form of contraceptive, with and without their parents' knowledge. I agree that it's better that they do so, than become pregnant at that age.

            But we do seem to be failing them on a huge scale, don't we?

            I'm not sure we've ever got it right. Sex education at my secondary school consisted of a one-hour session with a very embarrassed nurse telling the whole of the fifth year (150 of us 15-16 yr olds) that the best contraceptive was the word 'No'.

            (A bit late, it turned out, as two girls were already pregnant, as I recall).
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by mind the gap View Post

              How do you think should sex education be delivered to children/young people? How much/what should they be told, when and by whom? And if you can remember, how useful/appropriate was the sex education you received at school or from parents/family?
              Excellent questions, wish I knew the answers. I have a seventeen year old daughter and a 12 year old son. I have a large extended family too. And one thing I do know is that children develop at very, very different rates, so a "one size fits all" approach probably won't work. Having said that, I do tend towards more information than less. I really don't buy the argument that a teacher talking to a group of young people about sex excites their interest in the practical application of the subject more than would otherwise have been the case. But you could probably comment on that one MTG?!

              Preston

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                #8
                I don't remember any sex education at my school when i was there but then i knew more than I should have at that age having "lost" it at age 13. Luckly no one got pregnant.
                Best Regards

                PI Guy

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by PI Guy View Post
                  I don't remember any sex education at my school when i was there but then i knew more than I should have at that age having "lost" it at age 13. Luckly no one got pregnant.
                  At that age, I wouldnt have known where to look for it in the first place, let alone lose it.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Preston View Post
                    Excellent questions, wish I knew the answers. I have a seventeen year old daughter and a 12 year old son. I have a large extended family too. And one thing I do know is that children develop at very, very different rates, so a "one size fits all" approach probably won't work. Having said that, I do tend towards more information than less. I really don't buy the argument that a teacher talking to a group lf young people about sex excites their interest in the practical application of the subject more than would otherwise have been the case. But you could probably comment on that one MTG?!

                    Preston
                    I agree about the 'one size fits all' approach. During my teaching career, I've seen a variety of 'sex and relationships education' policies being implemented in schools, with pupils of different ages, and I'm not convinced any of them have been especially effective. What I have noticed is that they listen more attentively in schools, to information and advice from people nearer their own age - which is why the policy of sending medical students into schools to deliver sex ed is a good idea, I think. I've seen sixth formers helping to deliver such programmes to younger students, too, but they have to be very well trained or they can end up bragging about their own sex lives - which isn't what you want!

                    I don't think drawing their attention to it in lessons makes them any more likely to try it out, no. Teenagers are - and always have been - pretty obsessed with it, haven't they?

                    You can give them the facts - about which there is still astonishing ignorance*, despite the way sex is everywhere in the media...and you can try to raise their self-esteem so that they don't feel pressured into having sex before they are ready. But I've come to the conclusion that although teachers have been given the responsibility of giving both information and advice about sexual relationships, it should be parents who educate their children in this crucial aspect of life. Unfortunately many don't, from embarrassment, ignorance, whatever.

                    *my friend, who is a health visitor, asked a pregant 14 year old why she and her boyfriend had not used contraception. The girl was indignant. They had, she insisted. They had put the condom on a carrot before they had sex, just as they had been shown in sex ed at school. It hadn't worked, and that wasn't her fault, was it?
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                      #11
                      Perhaps if HMG weren't so fast to be handing out starter homes to youngsters with kids, they would think a little harder b4 indulging, there is a sector of the young generation for whom this is the natural way to leave home: get a baby- get (given) a flat (on the tax payer)


                      Further more have another one: get a bigger flat.

                      Instead of role models with free housing, i venture that a few hard luck examples would turn this situation around sharpish.

                      Now taking cover!

                      The Rodent
                      A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                      W.Churchill

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
                        Perhaps if HMG weren't so fast to be handing out starter homes to youngsters with kids, they would think a little harder b4 indulging, there is a sector of the young generation for whom this is the natural way to leave home: get a baby- get (given) a flat (on the tax payer)


                        Further more have another one: get a bigger flat.

                        Instead of role models with free housing, i venture that a few hard luck examples would turn this situation around sharpish.

                        Now taking cover!

                        The Rodent
                        I was waiting for someone to trot this one out, Rodent...but you're distorting the truth here. Most teenage mothers continue to live in the parental home; a minority are given social housing. There may be a very small number who deliberately become pregnant 'just to get a flat' but it's a bit of a myth, really.

                        Some reasons why teenage girls get pregnant, as far as I can tell and in no particular order:

                        1 They feel unloved, they crave attention, and they think a baby will give them those things

                        2 They notice that people with new babies are made a fuss of and they want that for themselves

                        3 They want to accessorise something - buy it a mini football strip and dinky trainers - this urge is usually in inverse propertion to their ability to afford such trappings

                        4 They have desperately low self esteem and believe boys who tell them that unless they have sex with them, they will leave them

                        5 Condoms are used, but burst

                        6 Condoms are used, but put on the wrong thing (see my previous post)

                        7 Contraceptive pill fails because of diarrhoea/vomiting/antibiotics etc.

                        8 They get pregnant to punish their parents

                        9 They genuinely have no idea that there is a connection between having sex and becoming pregnant

                        I'm sure there are more...
                        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                          I was waiting for someone to trot this one out, Rodent...but you're distorting the truth here. Most teenage mothers continue to live in the parental home; a minority are given social housing. There may be a very small number who deliberately become pregnant 'just to get a flat' but it's a bit of a myth, really.

                          Some reasons why teenage girls get pregnant, as far as I can tell and in no particular order:

                          1 They feel unloved, they crave attention, and they think a baby will give them those things

                          2 They notice that people with new babies are made a fuss of and they want that for themselves

                          3 They want to accessorise something - buy it a mini football strip and dinky trainers - this urge is usually in inverse propertion to their ability to afford such trappings

                          4 They have desperately low self esteem and believe boys who tell them that unless they have sex with them, they will leave them

                          5 Condoms are used, but burst

                          6 Condoms are used, but put on the wrong thing (see my previous post)

                          7 Contraceptive pill fails because of diarrhoea/vomiting/antibiotics etc.

                          8 They get pregnant to punish their parents

                          9 They genuinely have no idea that there is a connection between having sex and becoming pregnant

                          I'm sure there are more...
                          No distortion whatsoever unless you are unwilling to accept:

                          "there is a sector of the young generation"

                          Equally all of the above that you mention apply as well, BUT Q is why higher in Britain ?
                          All that you mention apply outside uk ......my suggestion doesn't (generally?) so maybe this is a bigger force than you are prepared to accept ?

                          The Rodent
                          A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                          W.Churchill

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by mind the gap View Post

                            I'm sure there are more...
                            the heat of the moment overtakes them 99.99%
                            Best Regards

                            PI Guy

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Rodent : Yours is flawed logic. Just because pregant teenagers are not entitled to social housing in the rest of Europe, this does not necessarily mean that those in Britain become pregnant because they may be/are entitled to it.

                              It's far more complicated than that, and I don't have any easy answers.

                              However, the EU country with the lowest rate of teenage pregnancy is the Netherlands and they also have the most open attitude amongst parents towards discussing sexual behaviour with their children. And I think I have read that the few teenagers who do get pregnant benefit from a lot of state intervention in terms of child benefit and special education, at least. Not sure about housing.

                              Think about it Rodent - even if your 'Daily Mail' hypothesis were correct (which I dispute), family relationships must have broken down to a desperate level for a 16 year old to arrive at the point where she actively seeks to get pregnant to get away from her parents and her home. They don't just wake up one day and think 'I fancy a change - I'd like to leave home - I know! I'll get pregnant then I'll get a flat.'

                              So perhaps the work needs to be done with the parents, rather than with the kids?
                              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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