Sex lessons at five going too far

Reporter: Marina Berry
Date published: 25 November 2009

CHILDREN as young as five are to get sex lessons in a bid to cut the number of teenage pregnancies.

The idea caused an uproar among parents when Schools Secretary Ed Balls announced that all primary and secondary schools had to offer personal, social and health education from 2011.

Sex education will start with five-year-olds, who are to get lessons on the differences between boys and girls.

Reporter Marina Berry asked Oldham people for their views, and discovered a definite thumbs down for the controversial move.

K Laycock of Oakbank Avenue, Chadderton, has seven grandchildren, three below the age of five, and said she was horrified at the idea that they would get sex lessons.

She said: “I just don’t see the need for it.

“The thought is appalling.

“It will be all very confusing for them, they are not mature enough to understand.”

The grandmother, who worked in a school for 20 years, added, “I didn’t get to know anything until I was about 16.

“Children these days get enough sex education not to get pregnant, they just don’t take a lot of notice.”

Her husband, Ian, gave a resounding “No” to the idea of young children learning about sex.

“They will all start practising,” he said.

Alan Wynn (75) of Middleton Road, Chadderton, said: “Let them stay children, they don’t want to know, they grow up too quickly anyway.

“If children ask a question then answer it, just the way it has always been,” said the great-grandfather.

“I would be disappointed if my great-grandchildren were given sex education at that age, and I would be straight down to the school to complain.”

Eileen Ashworth, of Broadway, Chadderton, said: “I don’t think it’s right. It will rob children of all their innocence and make them grow up before they should.

“If I had young children I would rather tell them myself when I felt they were ready, not when someone else told me they were.”

“It used to be a moral world, and when I was brought up, no-one even mentioned the word ‘sex’ in our family,” said Anastasia Ireson.

Her daughter, Lynn Hayward added: “They don’t need to know about sex at five.

“My youngest is five, they are quite innocent at that age, and I would object to him having sex education.

“It’s young enough at the age of 10, when girls start their periods.”

Sheila Smith, grandmother of two-year-old Macey Smith, said: “A five-year-old would not understand what it was all about, and I wouldn’t want Macey to know about such-like thinks at that age.

“I’m not saying sex education shouldn’t start early, but not until children know what they are talking about.

“It’s early enough to start in the last two years of junior school when they are aware of the difference between boys and girls.

“I can’t see any good points in this idea at all.”

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