BY SIMON CALDWELL
PARENTS will be warned against preaching sexual morality to their children under new Government guidelines. They will, however, be encouraged to coach youngsters from the age of 13 in how to use contraceptives.
They will be advised to accompany their teenage children to GPs or sex clinics to discuss what form of contraceptive suits them best once they become sexually active.
The recommendations have been produced by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, which is led by Ed Balls. They will come in the form of leaflets distributed through chemists’ shops.
The leaflets, entitled Talking to Your Teenager About Sex and Relationships, say: “Discussing your values with your teenagers will help them to form their own. Remember though that trying to convince them of what’s right and wrong may discourage them from being open.” The leaflets say that “the more they understand, the more they are likely to make the right choices”.
There is nothing in the leaflet to suggest that children should not be having sexual intercourse.
Instead, parents are assured that “under the NHS, contraception and condoms are free and there are lots of safe and effective methods that are suit able for young people – encourage your teenager to visit their local clinic or GP so they can make a choice that’s right for them”.
The Government will also give £530,000 to the Family Planning Association so it can train parents in how to advise their children on sexual intercourse and contraception.
The advice is meant to shore up the Government’s contraceptive-based teenage pregnancy strategy, which was supposed to reduce teenage conceptions by half.
The Government also aims to introduce compulsory sex education into primary schools, a policy supported by the Catholic Education Service, an agency of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales chaired by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham.
Patricia Morgan, a sociologist, said that “all the evidence from the United States is that if parents say they disapprove of underage sex, the teenagers are less likely to do it”.
“If parents talk about underage sex and do not disapprove of it, the children go on to do it. It is pretty basic stuff,” she told the Daily Mail.
“Parents are not allowed to know if their child is being given contraception or getting an abortion. But they are being told to teach their children in a manner dictated by the state.”