news from the UK on teen sexuality. It seems odd to me that on the
heels of determining that a government sponsored comprehensive sex education program
was deemed a failure (see my blog post on 7/9/09 "UK Initiative to Cut Teen Pregnancies Had Reverse Effect") that this new teen sexuality pamphlet, entitled "Pleasure" is being released by the UK's National Health Service.
It's my contention that comprehensive sex education needs to be combined with training on morals and values and that parents need to take the lead in this endeavor. Check out HomeWord.com for our resources on teaching kids healthy sexuality, including Jim Burns' book Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality. Jim also has books targeted directly for pre-teens and tweens, The Purity Code, and for teens, Accept Nothing Less.
Be aware that the excerpt from the news item posted below is quite graphic in its description.
One final note before the news item. A topic which receives a lot of focus in the UK sex education pamphlet is masturbation. Although this may be one of the toughest sexual topics that parents can talk to their kids about, it is an important topic nonetheless. Most parents simply don't know what to say to their kids about this issue. You might benefit from reading my article, "Talking to Your Kids About Masturbation" on the HomeWord.com website.
Britain's National Health Service has a message for teens: Sex can be fun.
Health officials are trying to change the tone of sex education by urging teachers to emphasize that sexual relations can be healthy and pleasurable instead of simply explaining the mechanics of sex and warning about diseases.
The new pamphlet, called "Pleasure," has sparked some opposition from those who believe it encourages promiscuity among teens in a country that already has high rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
The National Health Service in the city of Sheffield produced the booklet, which has a section called "an orgasm a day" that encourages educators to tell teens about the positive physical and emotional effects of sex and masturbation, which is described as an easy way for people to explore their bodies and feel good. Like more traditional sex education guides, it encourages demonstrations about how to use condoms and other contraceptives.
The booklet suggests ways in which teachers can encourage sexual awareness and responsibility while teaching young people that sex is something that is meant to be enjoyed.
Steve Slack, who helped produce the leaflet as Director of the Center for HIV & Sexual Health in Sheffield, said one goal is to help young people learn to resist peer pressure and delay having sex until they are emotionally ready.
"Far from promoting teenage sex, it is designed to encourage young people to delay losing their virginity until they are sure they will enjoy the experience," he said.
Slack said some of the ideas in the booklet came from the Netherlands, which is well known in Europe for its liberal attitude toward sexual behavior.
But the pamphlet is condemned by some educators who believe it will lead to more casual sex among teens.