New British Sex Education Curriculum Would Include Younger Kids

Filed under: In The News


British children as young as 7 could start learning about sex and domestic violence.

The London Daily Mail reports British school officials are considering changes in the country's sex education curriculum.

The proposals, announced Jan. 25, are subject to discussion before being implemented in September of next year. Under the proposals, parents lose their right to withdraw their child from sex education lessons once he or she turns 15.

In addition, 7-year-olds would get basic lessons about sex and domestic violence, and 11-year-olds would be taught about the importance of marriage. Meanwhile, teenagers would be given lessons on parenting. The proposal also contains advice to teachers on how talk to children about sex and relationships.

According to the Daily Mail, this would be the first update of Britain's sex education curriculum in 10 years. The proposal was drafted by a group including teachers, health charities, faith groups and young people.

Highlights of the proposal include:

  • Asking 5-year-olds, "Where do babies come from?" and "What are the differences between boys' and girls' bodies?"
  • Teaching 7-year-olds about puberty and the basics of reproduction and asking them, "What kinds of abuse could happen in relationships, including hurting feelings and violence?"
  • Asking 14-year-olds, "What are the responsibilities of being a parent and what skills do I need?"
British public schools are overseen by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Schools follow what's called the National Curriculum.

Member of Parliament Ed Balls administers the Department of Children, Schools and Families as Britain's school secretary.

He tells the Daily Mail the proposals ensure young children are fully informed about sex.

"Young people today grow up in a very different world to the one their parents knew as children," Balls tells the Daily Mail. "New technologies and a 24-hour media mean that young people are increasingly exposed to images and content that can make them feel pressure to be sexually active before they are ready and can give them misleading information about relationships and growing up."

School officials want to give students the facts so they can stay safe and healthy, he adds.

"We also want young people to understand the importance of marriage and other stable relationships," Balls tells the Daily Mail. "These are the bedrock of family life, the best way to bring up children and the kind of relationships we want young people to develop as they get older."

Related: Should Sex Sell Abstinence?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.