Sex between 13-year-olds is NORMAL, says controversial ‘traffic light tool’ sent to schools to teach about relationships
- Family campaigners warn behaviour encouraged in schools is unlawful
- MPs say youngsters should be told that under-age sex is ‘harmful’
- ‘Traffic Light Tool’ produced as part of sex and relationship lessons
- Sex between 13-year-olds is described as ‘safe and healthy’ behaviour
- Suggests masturbation and ‘consensual kissing’ is OK for 9-year-olds
Sex between 13-year-olds is ‘safe and healthy’ behaviour, according to controversial guidance offered to schools to teach youngsters about relationships.
Family campaigners warned teachers were being urged to encourage behaviour which was against the law, while MPs said youngsters should be told that under-age sex is ‘harmful’ and ‘dangerous’.
The ‘Traffic Light Tool’ produced as part of sex and relationship education lessons also suggested masturbation and ‘consensual kissing’ was a ‘Green behaviour’ for child as young as nine.
Education select committee chairman Graham Stuart warned youngsters should be told that under-age sex is ‘dangerous’ while Sarah Carter, of the Family Education Trust, said that sometimes what is taught in school sex and relationship lessons is against the law
Recently-published supplementary guidance on sex and relationship education (SRE) for schools included a link to the ‘Traffic Light Tool’ from sexual health and advice service Brook.
The tool on sexual behaviours, which is available online, is meant to help professionals assess whether children and young people’s sexual behaviours are healthy or unhealthy.
It sets out green, amber and red ‘behaviours’ for different age groups.
Under the 13-17 age group, it lists a number of green behaviours, which are described as behaviours that reflect ‘safe and healthy sexual development’ displayed between children and young people of similar age and developmental ability and ‘reflective of natural curiosity, experimentation, consensual activities and positive choices’.
The approved list of behaviour for 13-17-year-olds includes ‘having sexual or non-sexual relationships’, ‘sexual activity including hugging, kissing, holding hands’ and ‘consenting oral and/or penetrative sex with others of the same or opposite gender who are of similar age and developmental ability’.
Sarah Carter, of the Family Education Trust, sounded the alarm about the guidance, warning that sometimes what is taught in school sex and relationship lessons is against the law.
The Brook ‘Traffic Light Tool’ states that for children as yoiung as 13 ‘green behaviour’ includes ‘consenting oral and/or penetrative sex’
She told the Commons education select committee, how the Brook’s tool ‘states that young people who are consensually sexually active from the age of 13, this is normal behaviour and development, whereas actually the law states that young person should wait until they are 16 at least, never mind if they are ready or not’.
Miss Carter added: ‘That’s awfully unlawful behaviour, and so quite often what’s taught in SRE isn’t always lawful.’
The supplementary guidance on sex and relationships education (SRE), which contained links to a number of resources that could be used by schools, including the Traffic Light Tool, was developed and published by the PSHE Association with Brook and the Sex Education Forum.
Joe Hayman, chief executive of the PSHE Association, said he would look again at the links included in the guidance
Graham Stuart, the Labour MP who chairs the education committee, warned that critics might argue that to send out messages that 13-year-olds having sex together is part of growing up and ‘not to send out a message that it’s wrong, that it’s harmful, it’s dangerous, is in fact to almost to collude with something which we know is damaging to young people’.
Joe Hayman, chief executive of the PSHE Association, said that all the resources that the PSHE Association produces are clear about teaching about the law.
‘I think the only challenge with dealing with these subjects, and this is why we need really well-trained teachers, is that we’ve got to deal with children’s realities,’ he told the committee.
Mr Hayman said: ‘What I was saying was that it’s really, really important that a dictatorial-from-the-front lesson on what one should and shouldn’t do is less likely to have an impact and I think we’ve got to start from where children are, their reality.
‘There’s no one in our community who feels we should be trying to sexualise children, or any of those kinds of things.
‘What we want is children to develop healthy and safe relationships and it’s really important that teachers are provided with the necessary training in order to do that.’
Questioned further about Brook’s Traffic Light Tool, Mr Hayman insisted it was difficult for him to be accountable for every piece of information linked to in the PSHE Association’s supplementary guidance, which has many links within it. He agreed to write to the committee about the issue.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2820506/Sex-13-year-olds-NORMAL-says-controversial-traffic-light-tool-sent-schools-teach-relationships.html#ixzz3I8Fn39QZ
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