BY A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
present sense of urgency over sex education was due to the fact that children today could not escape from the "barrage of warped innuendo about sex which assails them through advertisements, films, radio and television", according to Fr. Anthony Bullen, Director of Religious Education in the Liverpool archdiocese.
Fr. Bull= was speaking last week at a meeting on sex education of children attended by representatives from all thetiverpool Catholic Teachers' .Associations. It was chaired by Fr. W. P. Byrne. the C.T.A. chaplain.
The need for some form of sex education had been advocated by the Holy See at least from the time of Pope Pius XIL said Fr. Bullen. It was reiterated by the Vatican Council's Decree on Education: "As children advance in years they should be given positive and prudent sex education."
Archbishop Beck, in a letter to the clergy, had written: "It seems more and more obvious that although sex education is primarily a responsibility of parents, most parents do not take the responsibility seriously unless they are helped by priests and unless a programme of assistance for them is organised, at least to some extent, by the schools."
'FALSE UNDERSTANDING' Fr. Bullen, discussing the effects of mass media on the minds of children in sex matters, said: "They are given a false understanding of sex. Those responsible for their upbringing must make sure they are given the right attitude.
"This is a matter of the children's happiness — happiness now in that a natural curiosity is satisfied, happiness later at the understanding of sexual emotions, all leading to happiness within marriage."
The chief subject of diseussion at the meeting was the help offered parents to enable them to talk to their children about sex. One suggestion was that teachers should be more ready to meet parents in their own homes.
There was some difference of opinion on the B.B.C. sex films. Some teachers who had seen them considered them too crude. Others thought they might be used provided they were carefully edited. Most agreed it would be helpful for parents to see the films.