Sex education failing young people, say MPs

Sexual health services are not meeting the needs of young people
despite the government’s Teenage Pregnancy Strategy, the
Commons Health Select Committee has warned.

The cross-party committee of MPs in a report on sexual health
warns that young people are “being failed by an education
which persistently delivers too little, too late,” and places
a mistaken emphasis on sex at the expense of young people’s
wider concerns about relationships. The committee recommends that
sex and relationship education is made a statutory part of the
national curriculum.

Although it recommends against  the promotion of sexual
abstinence to young people, the committee found that many young
people who have not had sex believed they were in the minority and
a significant proportion regret their first sexual experience.
Young people would benefit from more support in resisting external
pressures to have sex which is why sex education should be located
in a broad framework of relationship education, says the

It also recommends that school students should be able to access
high quality information on sexual health, excepted from web
filtering systems. This resource should be compiled by the
Department for Education and Skills and Department of Health

But the key to improving educational standards in sex and
relationship education lies in providing each school with
well-trained, capable and enthusiastic sex and relationship
education teachers.

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