Why does sex education fail so often?

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  • Rodent1
    replied
    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
    NO - read the first part of Beeber's post:

    'In the US states that bought in workfare to replace benefits, even for single mothers with young children (meaning that the recipient had to to undertake community work on a full-time basis to qualify for their benefits), welfare rolls feel substantially but rates of illegitimacy did not reduce at all. The latter was an unexpected outcome - it was assumed that if single mothers were forced into employment instead of bringing up their children on state benefits, this would discourage them from having children outside of marriage.'

    That was "work for your cash" not " removal of free housing" ....

    The Rodent

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  • Rodent1
    replied
    Re self perpetuating:
    A young girl whose experience of life is just with her mother (no father present) has this as her main understanding of family life. And altho this fact may heavily motivate her to do the opposite and try to have a more traditional later life (with father of her child) she non the less will find in more difficult if she has never experinced this ever in her life...and could be forgiven for expecing to become a single mum herself.

    A young boy brought up without a father present could also be forgiven for believing that it is acceptable to get a girl pregnant and then abscond, after all he knows nothing else.

    Immerse these 2 people's lives in family and friends of the same background and move down a few generations and we begin to see more highly influencing factors.

    Add in low academic acheivement, low self esteem and more often than not inadequate finacial income and we see the downward sprial more clearly.

    How else do these guys get somewhere to call home ?

    The Rodent

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  • mind the gap
    replied
    Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
    Well no surprises there then!
    So would seem to be a fairly identifiable "group" leaning heavily towards my first thoughts re: housing.
    BME ?????


    The Rodent
    NO - read the first part of Beeber's post:

    'In the US states that bought in workfare to replace benefits, even for single mothers with young children (meaning that the recipient had to to undertake community work on a full-time basis to qualify for their benefits), welfare rolls feel substantially but rates of illegitimacy did not reduce at all. The latter was an unexpected outcome - it was assumed that if single mothers were forced into employment instead of bringing up their children on state benefits, this would discourage them from having children outside of marriage.'

    Leave a comment:


  • Rodent1
    replied
    Originally posted by Beeber View Post
    Some research that I've came across indicates that teenage mothers were more likely to come from homes experiencing parental divorce or separation , to have been in care, to have low educational attainment and to have lived in social housing

    In the US states that bought in workfare to replace benefits, even for single mothers with young children (meaning that the recipient had to to undertake community work on a full-time basis to qualify for their benefits), welfare rolls feel substantially but rates of illegitimacy did not reduce at all. The latter was an unexpected outcome - it was assumed that if single mothers were forced into employment instead of bringing up their children on state benefits, this would discourage them from having children outside of marriage.

    According to a presentation I found relating to the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy from the Teenage Pregnancy Unit:-

    Who becomes a teenage parent?
    Risk factors for early pregnancy:

    Deprivation
    Poor educational attainment and attendance/ dislike of school
    Looked after children & care leavers
    Some BME groups

    Social outcomes for teenage mothers
    61% are lone parents
    Social isolation
    The relationship with the child’s father tends to be fragile
    But…….

    Many report positive experiences of parenthood, it can be a turning point in their lives
    Well no surprises there then!
    So would seem to be a fairly identifiable "group" leaning heavily towards my first thoughts re: housing.

    BME ?????


    The Rodent

    Leave a comment:


  • Beeber
    replied
    In the 80s, I went to a sink school comprehensive and was the only person in my class that stayed on into the sixth form to take A'levels. ((When stats began to be collected on the number of pupils that left with 5 GCSEs, 12% of pupils managed this at my school while the grammar school 10 miles away had a 98% average. The current national average for this is around 50%)).

    My parents were too embarrassed to educate me about the birds and the bees (to such an extent, that when my sister was approaching her teens, they made me go to the library to take out books on the subject and talk her through them).

    Sex education at the school, like all other education, was of the lowest quality - extremely brief, uninspiring and probably the littlest that they could get away with supplying.

    It was also ruined by the boys in the class humiliating the sex education tutor that came into the class to teach the topic - they kept asking her 'how many times do you do it, miss', 'is your husband any good, miss',etc. She abandoned our class then and there.

    I moved out of the area shortly afterwards so don't know how extensive the 'pram face' situation was - certainly I don't have any great recall of school girl pregnancies being particularly extensive.

    But I can understand how low aspirations, poor sex education and the like are factors in teen pregnancies.

    Leave a comment:


  • mind the gap
    replied
    Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
    Illegal = break the law, please explain "technically" ?

    Most children (and that is exactly what they are) are not equipped emotionally to deal with sex at such an early age (< 16)

    Long term conctraceptive devices not only condone, but encourage the incidence of underage sex and IMHO, is both morally and legally the wrong thing to do.

    This issue is very complex and there are no easy answers but to treat the symptoms and not the cause with a remedy that actually creates a bigger problem cannot be the way forward.

    Clearly education is the way forward, but as the biggest input comes from peer group, background, family values and history along with personal experiences - v - a few hours of talks at school, this is a great challenge.
    It is a somewhat self perpetuating problem, which society in general needs to address, by leading by example - which will take as many generations to solve, as it has to create the problem.


    So what age do you propose "injecting"?

    I respectfully suggest that you "get real"

    The Rodent
    I agree with some of the things you have said, (which, incidentally, seem to be more considered than your earlier, knee-jerk 'shock-tactic/refuse them social housing and that'll do the trick' response - thank you).

    Promoting effective contraceptive techniques and making them available to under 16s is, I agree, not the ideal solution, however, it is probably the 'least worst' option in the short term for a problem which as you indicate, needs addressing both by families and by society. But how do we persuade young people that the price they may 'pay' - in terms of their sexual health, their self-growth, and their freedom to follow alternative paths, might be too high? Interestingly too, their parents' views about their children being sexually active before the legal age of consent, were (according to the girls), very varied , ranging from "They'd kill me' to 'My mum would take me to the doctors and make me go on the pill'.

    In an ideal world, 12 -1 5 year olds of both sexes would not feel so pressured to rush headlong into sexual relationships as they clearly do; I have talked to 15 year olds about general attitudes to this recently, in single-gender groups, and what emerged was that girls as well as boys put pressure on each other to be sexually active - it is seen by a majority to be 'normal' behaviour by the time you are in Year 11. More girls than boys felt anxious about this pressure - but the groups I talked to may not have been representative, of course.
    Add to that peer-group pressure the obsessive focus of magazines targeted at teenagers to be sexually attractive and active, and it's hardly surprising that they feel they are abnormal if they are not trying out 'position of the week' by the age of 15, even if they don't really want to.

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  • Rodent1
    replied
    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
    I agree - honesty is the best policy. However, it can have interesting consequences. One of my sons, aged 7, came rushing up to me at a crowded poolside in Italy (we were on holiday), and demanded loudly to to be told whether what his sister had just told him about how babies were made, was true or not, as he thought it sounded so 'gross' that he thought that she must be making it up. (She wasn't, as it happened!).

    I thought, now is the time, and explained as simply and clearly as I could (not to mention quietly, as we had attracted a bit of an audience of interested Italian teenagers by this point), exactly what he wanted to know about the whole process. During the explanation, he gazed at me with increasing incredulity and uncharacteristic concentration, before finally declaring 'Well I think that sounds really... unhygienic'.

    (Which I thought was bit rich, coming from the least hygienic, most soap-averse child on the face of the planet...)

    My husband found our other son (aged 9) poring over an Usborne sex education book and asked if it was interesting, whether there was anything he wanted explaining, etc. No, said son, he thought he had worked it all out...but he just wanted to check something. How long do you have to 'do it' for, and if you want to have twins, do you have to 'do it' for twice as long?
    My mother was a biology teacher, so i had the very "matter of fact" explanation as a child. It was me, not Mrs R, that sat down with my daughter when she asked "where do babies come from", aged around 10, and i explained in a "biological" way with diagrams, i do know many parents who have not even spoken to their kids about sex, menstruation etc ..leaving it to the "school" to sort it out, which i personally feel is apalling.
    At 10 I gave a brief overview of contraception and left the finer points to later conversations over several years, also making it very clear that NO form of conctraception is safe other than "NO" reinforced with thoughts on the lifestyles of various people she knew, "young mothers" and "older mothers" their circumstances and lifestyles, the documentary on "Kizzy" came along at the right time for Miss R, pretty much putting her off early pregnancy.

    This has been repeated many times since.

    It helped that the older sister of one of her friends was in homeless hostel for the last 6 mths of her pregnancy and was extremely unhappy for this time, "fortunately" immediately after the baby was born the council housed her and baby, (as planned!) but she is struggling and probably always will.

    If a child grows up with this sort of thing as the "norm" then it is no great surprise that they do the same thing.

    The Rodent

    Leave a comment:


  • islandgirl
    replied
    Loved the Italy story MTG - my eldest when about 5 said to someone "well if you've got the seeds and your wife has the eggs why haven't you got any children?" - the reply (to his dad was) "he's very forward for his age isn't he...?"

    Leave a comment:


  • Rodent1
    replied
    Originally posted by PI Guy View Post
    you need to get real if you are to address the issues. While illegal (technically) as long as within their age group noone will prosecute.

    Illegal = break the law, please explain "technically" ?

    Most children (and that is exactly what they are) are not equipped emotionally to deal with sex at such an early age (< 16)

    Long term conctraceptive devices not only condone, but encourage the incidence of underage sex and IMHO, is both morally and legally the wrong thing to do.

    This issue is very complex and there are no easy answers but to treat the symptoms and not the cause with a remedy that actually creates a bigger problem cannot be the way forward.

    Clearly education is the way forward, but as the biggest input comes from peer group, background, family values and history along with personal experiences - v - a few hours of talks at school, this is a great challenge.
    It is a somewhat self perpetuating problem, which society in general needs to address, by leading by example - which will take as many generations to solve, as it has to create the problem.


    So what age do you propose "injecting"?

    I respectfully suggest that you "get real"

    The Rodent

    Leave a comment:


  • mind the gap
    replied
    Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
    Having been involved in teaching in secondary schools (in relatively deprived areas) what struck me was that many of the girls had no ambition other than "to have a baby". year 10/11 girls would wait outside school with prams to show off their offspring to a gaggle of cooing admirers.....
    As regards education, it is of course best done by parents. I have always been totally honest with mine and answered their questions truthfully. I firmly believe that they do not actually ask anything unless they are ready to know.
    Mind you my eldest (now 12) grew up when we had cattle and knew all there was to know about the mechanics of reproduction from about the age of 6 and enjoyed explaining it to everyone at school. One of the teachers said during a discussion about the school's sex ed policy "well, your lad could have given the lessons from about year 4 couldn't he?" Another proud mother moment!
    I agree - honesty is the best policy. However, it can have interesting consequences. One of my sons, aged 7, came rushing up to me at a crowded poolside in Italy (we were on holiday), and demanded loudly to to be told whether what his sister had just told him about how babies were made, was true or not, as he thought it sounded so 'gross' that he thought that she must be making it up. (She wasn't, as it happened!).

    I thought, now is the time, and explained as simply and clearly as I could (not to mention quietly, as we had attracted a bit of an audience of interested Italian teenagers by this point), exactly what he wanted to know about the whole process. During the explanation, he gazed at me with increasing incredulity and uncharacteristic concentration, before finally declaring 'Well I think that sounds really... unhygienic'.

    (Which I thought was bit rich, coming from the least hygienic, most soap-averse child on the face of the planet...)

    My husband found our other son (aged 9) poring over an Usborne sex education book and asked if it was interesting, whether there was anything he wanted explaining, etc. No, said son, he thought he had worked it all out...but he just wanted to check something. How long do you have to 'do it' for, and if you want to have twins, do you have to 'do it' for twice as long?

    Leave a comment:


  • islandgirl
    replied
    Having been involved in teaching in secondary schools (in relatively deprived areas) what struck me was that many of the girls had no ambition other than "to have a baby". year 10/11 girls would wait outside school with prams to show off their offspring to a gaggle of cooing admirers.....
    As regards education, it is of course best done by parents. I have always been totally honest with mine and answered their questions truthfully. I firmly believe that they do not actually ask anything unless they are ready to know.
    Mind you my eldest (now 12) grew up when we had cattle and knew all there was to know about the mechanics of reproduction from about the age of 6 and enjoyed explaining it to everyone at school. One of the teachers said during a discussion about the school's sex ed policy "well, your lad could have given the lessons from about year 4 couldn't he?" Another proud mother moment!

    Leave a comment:


  • PI Guy
    replied
    Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
    The law that states that sex under the age of 16 is illegal and classed as rape.
    Which one did you think i meant ?
    or were you just thinking to encourage underage sex with no regard for the law ?

    The Rodent
    you need to get real if you are to address the issues. While illegal (technically) as long as within their age group noone will prosecute.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ericthelobster
    replied
    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
    Condoms are used, but burst
    An oft-quoted reason but on the overwhelming majority of occasions that this is reported as a reason for an unwanted pregnancy, the real reason is that no precautions were taken at all, and the girl at the abortion clinic reckons that 'the condom burst' sounds better than 'we didn't bother'.

    Leave a comment:


  • Beeber
    replied
    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post

    Why does Britain still have one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Europe?
    Some research that I've came across indicates that teenage mothers were more likely to come from homes experiencing parental divorce or separation , to have been in care, to have low educational attainment and to have lived in social housing

    In the US states that bought in workfare to replace benefits, even for single mothers with young children (meaning that the recipient had to to undertake community work on a full-time basis to qualify for their benefits), welfare rolls feel substantially but rates of illegitimacy did not reduce at all. The latter was an unexpected outcome - it was assumed that if single mothers were forced into employment instead of bringing up their children on state benefits, this would discourage them from having children outside of marriage.

    According to a presentation I found relating to the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy from the Teenage Pregnancy Unit:-

    Who becomes a teenage parent?
    Risk factors for early pregnancy:

    Deprivation
    Poor educational attainment and attendance/ dislike of school
    Looked after children & care leavers
    Some BME groups

    Social outcomes for teenage mothers
    61% are lone parents
    Social isolation
    The relationship with the child’s father tends to be fragile
    But…….

    Many report positive experiences of parenthood, it can be a turning point in their lives

    Leave a comment:


  • Preston
    replied
    Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
    and also have a STRONG desire ... to love and, be loved by" ....

    Or are we looking to confine this thread to single school girl mothers ?

    I did think the conversation was more about the under 18s, so apologies if I got the wrong end of the stick on that one.

    On the broader topic, I really am not sure why so many young people have children so early. I guess there will be many reasons. But I do think you probably hit upon one of the main answers in your response - the bit I have quoted above.

    And one of the reasons why I find this quite convincing is because this is why I had children; and I would guess it is why most adults have children too.

    So, my argument would be, start with the obvious. Young people want children for the same reason that older people do. Our task, I guess, is to convince them that they can do all that stuff later in their lives, because there is something else more interesting, exciting and important for them at the moment. For many people, perhaps, those alternatives just don't seem to be within their grasp.

    And by the way, if you are lucky enough never to have an "accident", then well done, but I am reliably informed that it really does still happen, particularly amongst those who are perhaps less well informed.

    Your comments about social housing are just that, comments, they are not evidence. To illustrate, generally speaking, incomes and education levels are lower amongst social housing tenants than owner occupiers (though not lower than private rented accommodation in some areas, interestingly). Does this mean that people deliberately get themselves lower paid jobs in order to get a rented home? What is missing from your comments is a causal link and to my knowledge, no researchers have yet established a link between the decision to become pregnant and the desire for a social rented home.

    That is not to say, of course, that for some people the decision to become pregnant may be reinforced by the knowledge that if they do so, they will have a higher priority for a home, but this does not explain the desire for pregnancy in the first place.

    Finally, it is often the case that teenage pregnancies are highest in areas of highest housing stress, where even young vulnerable lone parents may have to wait a very long time for a flat or a house and this, very often, is not of their preferred type or in their area of choice in any case. The notion that getting pregnant = getting the house of your choice just doesn't work in practice.



    Preston

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