Why does sex education fail so often?

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    #31
    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...?"
    Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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      #32
      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
      A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
      W.Churchill

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        #33
        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.
        '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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          #34
          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.

          Comment


            #35
            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
            A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
            W.Churchill

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              #36
              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.'
              '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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                #37
                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
                A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                W.Churchill

                Comment


                  #38
                  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
                  A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                  W.Churchill

                  Comment


                    #39
                    This is all very academic, raging hormones will make a mockery of any good advice given to kids. Never mind the 'law', if their bodies are ready for making babies, their hormones will try to push them to doing just that. The statutory age of consent can only be an average at best, there are countries where the age is 14, in others girls have been married off as young as 12. In nature an animal becomes sexually active when it's ready, why should anyone think that humans are different?

                    If we didn't feed our kids as well as we do then the age of puberty would probably rise, everybody seems to believe that girls are reaching menarche a lot earlier than fifty years ago, then the age of 16 for consent was probably justified, today, practically all of them are fully past their puberty by the age of fourteen, boys and girls. The only advantage I can see to sex education is to teach them the mechanics of the skill. That's something I had to learn for myself. Oh my! I remember it well!
                    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                    Comment


                      #40
                      Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
                      That was "work for your cash" not " removal of free housing" ....

                      The Rodent
                      The principle is similar enough for it to be valid - when 'carrot' (free housing/no need to work) is removed and replaced by stick (removal of free housing/requirement to work), it makes no difference to rates of illegitimate births.

                      I can imagine that in the part of South Wales where you live and let properties, you are probably at the sharper end of this than most of the rest of us. I recognise the pattern you have described within my own extended family in the Rhondda. The only difference I have noticed is that where the grandparents are involved with bringing -up their grandchildren, happier families result.

                      I agree with you that for many families it is a self-perpetuating pattern and one which we should be concerned about.

                      It seems to me we have two main issues to address, not one. First, how can parents/teachers encourage adolescents (12-16 year olds) to delay becoming sexually active until they are older, and second, given that if that advice falls on deaf ears (as it seems doomed to, in many cases), and they are going to experiment, should we be doing everything we can to prevent them creating new life if they are too immature to care for it themselves? By 'prevent' what do we mean? Do we ground them for four years (impractical!) or supply contraception?

                      The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that it has to start young - not just the biology lessons and not threats, necessarily, but ensuring that each child feels worth a million dollars to its parents at least - back to self-esteem? Is it a bit like the drugs issue - it's about raising confident, self-assertive kids who like and value themselves enough not to. Easier said than done, I know.
                      '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


                        #41
                        Originally posted by jta View Post
                        This is all very academic, raging hormones will make a mockery of any good advice given to kids. Never mind the 'law', if their bodies are ready for making babies, their hormones will try to push them to doing just that. The statutory age of consent can only be an average at best, there are countries where the age is 14, in others girls have been married off as young as 12. In nature an animal becomes sexually active when it's ready, why should anyone think that humans are different?

                        If we didn't feed our kids as well as we do then the age of puberty would probably rise, everybody seems to believe that girls are reaching menarche a lot earlier than fifty years ago, then the age of 16 for consent was probably justified, today, practically all of them are fully past their puberty by the age of fourteen, boys and girls. The only advantage I can see to sex education is to teach them the mechanics of the skill. That's something I had to learn for myself. Oh my! I remember it well!

                        Yep agreed, just so long as they are emotionally and financially equipped to deal with bringing up a child let's do that ...lower the age to 12,

                        few other laws we are going to need to look at as well though,

                        like dropping marriage age to 12 as well,
                        and young couples need accom so all the employment laws will need to be modified (back to child labor then) so they can support new young family

                        Prop law, so that we can rent to 12 year old mothers,

                        utilities co's will have to extend credit to these youngsters in order for them to survive,

                        so complete over haul of the credit laws,

                        and parents will now no longer take responsibility for a child over the age of 12,

                        education - now they will have the option to leave at age 12 to start their brave new lives even more ill equipped than they are today!

                        and countless other reckless and non workables put in place

                        While we are at it - let's lower the drinking age to 12 as well, perhaps we wouldn't have so many pubs closing down then !

                        We are a developed nation with sensible ideals and laws in place, a return to more traditional and realistic values is the way forward not irresponsible anarchy.

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

                        Comment


                          #42
                          at the end of the day, the legalities of the situation never even comes into their head. That is reality!

                          Who here disagrees with the cervical cancer injections on 12 year olds cause it encourages sexual activity?
                          Best Regards

                          PI Guy

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                            #43
                            Originally posted by jta View Post
                            This is all very academic, raging hormones will make a mockery of any good advice given to kids. Never mind the 'law', if their bodies are ready for making babies, their hormones will try to push them to doing just that. The statutory age of consent can only be an average at best, there are countries where the age is 14, in others girls have been married off as young as 12. In nature an animal becomes sexually active when it's ready, why should anyone think that humans are different?

                            If we didn't feed our kids as well as we do then the age of puberty would probably rise, everybody seems to believe that girls are reaching menarche a lot earlier than fifty years ago, then the age of 16 for consent was probably justified, today, practically all of them are fully past their puberty by the age of fourteen, boys and girls. The only advantage I can see to sex education is to teach them the mechanics of the skill. That's something I had to learn for myself. Oh my! I remember it well!
                            You speak sense, O Fecund One! (jta has brought up 8 children, so homage is due!)

                            I agree about the raging hormones jta, however, (presumably) those hormones rage just as rampantly across the whole of Europe, yet the UK is (apparently) the worst nation at preventing teenage pregnancies.

                            Do you have any thoughts on why that may be so, or what can be done to reduce the number?
                            '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


                              #44
                              Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
                              Yep agreed, just so long as they are emotionally and financially able to deal with bringing up a child let's do that ...lower the age to 12,

                              few other laws we are going to need to look at as well though,

                              like dropping marriage age to 12 as well,
                              and young couples need accom so all the employment laws will need to be modified (back to child labor then) so they can support new young family

                              Prop law, so that we can rent to 12 year old mothers,

                              utilities co's will have to extend credit to these youngsters in order for them to survive,

                              so complete over haul of the credit laws,

                              and parents will now no longer take responsibility for a child over the age of 12,

                              education - now they will have the option to leave at age 12 to start their brave new lives even more ill equipped than they are today!

                              and countless other reckless and non workables put in place

                              While we are at it - let's lower the drinking age to 12 as well, perhaps we wouldn't have so many pubs closing down then !

                              We are a developed nation with sensible ideals and laws in place, a return to more traditional and realistic values is the way forward not irresponsible anarchy.

                              Jta behave yourself
                              The Rodent
                              I was not advocating it. Merely pointing out that it happens in other places.

                              The age of consent, in a historical context is fairly new:-

                              The original age of consent, codified in English common law and later adopted by the American colonies, ranged from 10 to 12. In 1885, Britain and the states began raising the age to 16, ostensibly to protect girls' natural innocence. This moral idea was later bolstered by scientific reference to the onset of puberty.
                              Quantcast


                              I was simply pointing out that laws of nature will always take precedence over the laws of man!

                              Might be a case for bringing back the chastity belt.
                              I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                              Comment


                                #45
                                Originally posted by jta View Post

                                Might be a case for bringing back the chastity belt.
                                Only if boys and men had to wear them too
                                '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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