Christian Concern attacks new approach to sex education

Christian Concern attacks new approach to sex education March 2, 2017

Ahead of yesterday’s announcement by the UK Government that children will be taught about healthy adult relationships from the age of four – with sex education made compulsory in all secondary schools – Christian Concern’s Andrea Williams, above, railed against the plan.
CC’s Chief Executive, according to The Telegraph,  said that teaching Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) to four-year-olds would be “devastating” and risks:

Robbing them of their innocence.  Children of four are should not be introduced to this. Schools need to be safe places where the innocence of children is protected.
Very often sex education introduces children to concepts far too soon, destroying their innocence. This is not something that the state should be laying down. We are very concerned about this.

This puts her at odds with the Church of England, which has backed SRE. One of its senior bishops and leading authority on education has said that the sexualisation of children means they can no longer be “shielded”.
The Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Stephen Conway, has urged Christians to move with the times and accept that “what might have held in previous eras” is no longer the most effective way of keeping our children safe and preparing them for life in the modern world.
He said that while it is “only natural” to want to “shield children as long as we possibly can”, but added that parents must not ignore the reality that “even primary school children are becoming exposed to online pornography.”
In a written statement on Wednesday, the Education Secretary, Justine Greening, said existing statutory guidance made no mention of modern issues.

The statutory guidance for sex and relationships education was introduced in 2000 and is becoming increasingly outdated. It fails to address risks to children that have grown in prevalence over the last 17 years, including cyberbullying, ‘sexting’ and staying safe online.

Sex education is compulsory only for secondary school pupils in local authority-run schools. Now all secondary schools, including academies, private schools and religious free schools, must make the age-appropriate sex and relationship education mandatory.
Parents will continue to have a right to withdraw their children from the lessons. Schools will have flexibility in how they deliver the subjects and they can develop an approach that is “sensitive to the needs of the local community” and religious beliefs.
Stephen Evans, the campaigns director of the National Secular Society, said:

This sounds like children from minority faith groups will be totally left behind by the government’s proposals. Under this approach, children who happen to be born into conservative religious groups will still be without proper sex and relationships education.

The British Humanist Association said the announcement was a step in the right direction, but added that the government should ensure children in faith schools were not deprived of age-appropriate sex and relationships education.
The BHA’s chief executive, Andrew Copson said:

Andrew Copson

A child’s access to accurate, evidence-based and relevant information, designed for the simple purpose of keeping them safe, should not be dependent on their religious or non-religious background, nor on the type of school to which they happen to have been sent. It should be clear to everyone that either all children have a right to this education, or no such right exists.

According to the BBC, Laura Hannah, the Education and Training manager for leading UK sexual health charity Brook, says the new ruling will impact greatly on children from communities where sex is a taboo subject in school and at home.

We work in lots of faith school where young people tell us sex isn’t spoken about at home. We respect their values but what we want to do is give them information so that when they are ready to have a relationship they can understand the risks and they understand what’s available to them.

Brook provides sex education that is tailored specifically to faith schools, avoiding certain topics when talking to students. Said Hannah:

If we are working within a faith school, we are often requested not to talk about contraception or condom use. What we will do is talk about sexual health services that are available to young people in their area and what’s there, so if they chose to use it they’re able to access that information.

Hannah is keen for a change in language to include LGBTQ pupils in the conversation.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn

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  • remigius

    Bloody hell, Barry. You should warn us before you post a picture of that woman. Some of us are trying to eat our lunch.

  • H3r3tic

    Shit, I find myself partly in agreement with that bug-eyed harridan. My eight year old daughter has no idea about sexual matters and I feel that to introduce it into the primary curriculum would indeed rob children of their innocence, an integral part of their childhood. My wife is a primary teacher and agrees. I never thought I would ever be on the same page as that bint but there you go.

  • Paul

    That’s interesting what you say about your daughter. I wonder about 4 year olds too. Seems a bit young. The constant pandering to religious sensitivities is wrong. This is education for modern Britain in a British society and if we take just one example, condom use, we are aware it prevents std and sti’s and unwanted pregnancies. That’s got to be an important message and damn the religious – they aren’t picking up the bill for these things – we all are.
    Education is a key factor not wishful thinking that teens (or below ages) won’t have sex- they will.

  • Terry

    The pious want unfettered unrestricted access to children for the simple purpose of polluting their minds with godly propaganda. I say hands off my kids. Screw up your own kids if you want but hands off those of other people.

  • L.Long

    Sorry but H2R3 and this witch are dead wrong! Both of my kids were raised with complete sex ed from the point where they could ask what is this thingy and why doesn’t sister have one? And they are smart good kids and treated sex as they should …NO BIG DEAL! And when they got older the urge to do detailed exploration was not that important and when done, it was done smart and no unwanted diseases or babies!!!! Unlike the xtian BS that leads to everything bad!!!
    The same for my G’Kids, at ages 7 &8 they know want the thingy is and what the sister has. They know vagina and penis and what they are for. But unlike my kids the G’kids did not learn that in school, as the NC system is controlled by xtian bigots. ALL XTIAN SEX ED IS AN EVIL FAILURE!!!!

  • Johan

    Sex is a sin. Therein lies the power of the church over the common man. The church want power over every aspect of your life and to do that they say this and that is sinful and you must do as as the church says to get forgiveness for all the sins you committed or you will burn in hell fire for ever. What a horrid dishonest way of earning a living. Sex is not a sin it’s a natural impulse that needs understanding for the earliest possible age. The pious declare sex as dirty and evil just to entrap people in their specious dogma.

  • Angela_K

    @Johan. I wonder how the religious with their obsession about sex and how it is sinful, explain the fact plants, trees, insects, birds and mammals all “do it”. My school sex education started at eleven tears old when we were taught about male and female species of plant, although I already had a reasonable understanding of human biology and reproduction from my mother who was a nurse.

  • Edwin Salter

    Not a nasty secret. The idea of sex as animal/ fallen/ prurient is a particularly ghastly aspect of Christianity. Its complement that chastity generates spirituality has a long and confused history (BVM, Tolstoy…).
    Actually the recommendations are not concerned with ‘how to do it with heavy breathing’so appealing to corrupt puritanism. On the contrary they have much to say about safeguarding (against exploitation and abuse including FGM, socially driven folly and porn) and having control over consent. (The PSHE document on Sex and Relationship Education.)

  • Broga

    Some kids are going to witness sexual activity. I grew up on a farm and seeing bulls and stallions at work was common. I often saw someone with their hand down a cow’s arse to manoeuvre a calf and it was a very physical activity.
    Regarding sex, the reaction of the parents – either calm and matter of fact or excitable and censoring – will influence the children.
    I suppose the important aspect of teaching children is the way the subject is dealt with by the teacher. Presumably, all will, or should be, underpinned by emphasising the importance of relationships. Romantic love and its ephemeral nature needs to be discussed. I think it was Jung who said romantic love is an illness like any other illness and should be treated as such.
    I now read stories to my grandchildren aged 4 and 5. Many fairy stories present relationships in an unreal, non physical and ethereal context. The women are often princesses who are beautiful and the men are princes who are handsome. The women who behave badly are “ugly” e.g. the “ugly sisters” in Cinderella.

  • L.Long

    I have to apologize to the witches of the world for comparing witches to the pile of ugly shit pictured above!

  • manu-ad-ferrum

    ‘Innocence’ is that state in which innocence is lost.

  • barriejohn

    As Broga says (and has been said here before), in days gone by children lived closer to animals and knew all about sexual reproduction. I worked on a local farm as a teenager, and they had a resident bull which serviced the cows quite publicly,so any kids in the vicinity witnessed that process regularly. Also, when families were larger and living in more cramped circumstances than we enjoy, with a much larger disparity in the ages of offspring as well, there was more knowledge of sex than many often admitted to. However, as Edwin Salter also points out, much of this will involve safeguarding, rather than “how to do it”. The current investigations into child abuse during the last century show that it is totally fallacious to claim that things are much worse now than they used to be (a common complaint of the devout), and that there is, hopefully, now a much healthier approach to this topic (one which they would like to brush under the carpet as if it doesn’t exist). It would certainly be naive in the extreme to assume that many young children are not being exposed to unsuitable material at home and elsewhere already.

  • Broga

    The discussion of sex education for children opens up all kinds of issues including that of the ready availability of pornography on the internet and its affects on the young. Parents will never be able to exclude young people, and children, from that. The best that can be done is to offer information, education and discussion.
    I read that women, influenced by pornography, are now paying for designer vaginas. The idea that a vagina trimmed by a cosmetic surgeon will make a woman more attractive seems to me, a man, to be bizarre.
    The stimulation by graphic pornography, always available, is said to be making men incapable of a sexual response to their wives or partners. Can’t Andrea Williams see that it is essential to discuss this and much else rather than attempt the impossible task of ignoring and censoring it?
    And, as barriejohn says, there was far more sexual abuse of children with little protection offered in Victorian times. Women flooded into London to take the only work that would pay them – prostitution. We live in sexually healthier times and Andrea Williams and co want to turn the clock back in pursuit of an age that never existed.

  • StephenJP

    As I understand it, the teaching is to be tailored to the children’s age. For 4-year-olds, the emphasis is on relationships. The mechanics of the business comes much later.
    The problem with puritanical fundies like CC is that not only do they shy away in horror from sex education in schools, they seldom provide any adequate alternative at home. I have been a primary school governor, and all the evidence is that children take in their stride sex and relationship education appropriate for their age. It is frankly bizarre that the subject should be so controversial in 2017.

  • “Robbing them of their innocence. Children of four are should not be introduced to this. Schools need to be safe places where the innocence of children is protected.”
    … and that is why I discourage parents sending their children to religious schools.

  • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews

    The idea that “what might have held in previous eras” excludes a child’s learning about sex is patently ridiculous. During the (very Christian) Middle Ages, sexuality and sexual behaviour were not shameful, hidden things. Yes, the Church had moral strictures but a quick perusal of manorial records shows that they held as little influence over what people decide to do with their soft (and hardening) parts as they do today. Children grew up in one-room cottages with adult family members, where sexual activity was normal. Nudity was not shameful but part of everyday experience. What people like this ghastly harriden do not posess is any kind of historical understanding, even of their own religion. They are stuck in a late Victorian view of sex as bad and have no understanding that this was a development of industrialised society. Nothing to do with “what might have held in previous eras”. Ignorant (and terrifying) excuse for a human.

  • barriejohn

    StephenJP: In the Plymouth Brethren, sex was NOT DISCUSSED (period). It was as if it never even existed. How their children ever found out what to do I have no idea, but they all had loads of kids!

  • B Richardson

    I would much rather 4 year olds were given basic information on sex and relationships than brainwashed with nonsense about imaginary supreme beings or had “the nativity” taught to them once a year every year as if it were factual. This includes whatever nonsense any particular religion wants to expose children to, if teaching children about religion were illegal until the child reaches the age of reason we would be living in a very different world!

  • JJones

    Caption competition.
    Sorry cant think of anything funny right now … that horrid woman puts me right off.
    But I do wonder what she does between the sheets. I presume she is married (pity the poor sod). She’s either a repressed cold unadventurous ‘lie back and think of jesus’type or a raving oversexed nympomaniac screamer needing servicing several times a day in ways that male porn stars dread.
    Either way what a terrifying woman.
    Maybe thats her orgasm face.
    Ad hominem, sorry, but can you imagine waking up alongside that in the morning. That would give me a droop that even a fistful of viagra could not overcome.
    And her husband must be a brave man indeed to let her perform a bj. He must be in constant fear of a severed member whenever she gets her maw around it. I brings to mind the biting doll in that film set in Amsterdam Puppet on Chain I think.

  • barriejohn

    JJones: Yes, ad hominem. She is married with children. I don’t know anything about her husband, but the following is very interesting:
    …Andrea Minichiello Williams is also a trustee for TnT Ministries, a charity which teaches people ‘how to teach the bible to children‘, and which also publishes teaching materials. Unsurprisingly TnT Ministries have drawn up a syllabus for those working with 14-18 year olds: it’s called The Junction, because apparently “If your youth group is in the 14-18 age bracket they are at a junction — a vital point in their lives where they need help to study the Bible in a way that is challenging and mind stretching.”
    “By going through Bible passages in Genesis, Romans, Corinthians, and Ephesians, the group will discover God’s purposes for sex and relationships in the world that He has made. They will also discover God’s answer to the problem of our sinful natures and how to flee from our evil desires in a world marred by sin.”

    The rest is well worth a read!

  • Matthew Carr

    You know, it’s a wonder that these people ever manage to reproduce.

  • Stuart H.

    I gave my child some basic sex education when she started infant school.
    I told her that if a priest ever entered the classroom she should always make sure she was closer to the classroom door than him. Failing that, head-butt him in the nuts and leg it for the head-teacher’s office.

  • Cali Ron

    Stuart H.: Sound advice. It should be printed on signs over the doors of every RCC school room.

  • Shalamova

    As I comprehend it, the instructing is to be custom fitted to the kids’ age. For 4-year-olds, the accentuation is on connections. The mechanics of the business comes considerably later.