The Telegraph recently reported on a survey conducted by the global children’s charity Plan UK which found that one in five adults believe that the pressure to become sexually active is the biggest problem facing girls at secondary school.
Do you agree? If so, and if you are the parent of a teenage girl, what can you do to help her cope with this pressure and not to engage in sexual activity with the wrong person and at the wrong time?
During my years as the head of a girls’ school,...
The Guardian recently reported that, in terms of sex education, ten year olds really want to know about puberty and their changing bodies, rather than about the mechanics of sexual reproduction. Year 6 pupils in a west London primary school were asked to post, anonymously, questions to which they wanted to know the answers. Both boys and girls were far more concerned about what physical changes they could expect, and within what time frame.
This comes as no surprise to me, and I feel...
Sunday 5 August 2012
The Guardian recently reported on lessons at St Marylebone School in Central London where girls are properly informed about fertility issues in their Sex and Relationships education lessons. It observes that this practice seems to be relatively uncommon, as SRE lessons in schools tend to focus on avoiding unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The message we unwittingly give is that getting pregnant is easy. If, later in life, the girls who are led to believe this to be...
Monday 28 November 2011
‘There’s more to relationships than body parts’ attested a recent article in The Education Guardian. Absolutely. We have to recognise that Sex and Relationships Education requires far more than giving information about the biological elements of human reproduction. Our sons and daughters need support as they address the emotional aspects of a developing interest in the opposite sex, and unless schools and parents work together to provide this support, they will look to each other,...
Nadine Dorries, the Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire, has suggested that schoolgirls between the ages of 13 and 16 should be given lessons in ‘how to say no’ as part of the sex and relationships curriculum.
I know I am not alone in asking why this message should be targeted at girls, rather than at both boys and girls. To me it suggests the disturbing and dangerous idea that girls indulge in or withhold sex as a way of managing and manipulating their relationships with boys. It...
Tuesday 19 October 2010
The rather sensational headline in a recent Daily Mail online article read: ‘Pupils to learn about rape and laws of consent in bid to cut violent crime’. The story went on to explain that the ‘lessons about rape and drunken sex’ are proposed by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, in an attempt to reduce the rate of violent crime in the city. They would be part of the Personal, Social and Health Education programme.
Critics of the scheme, such as Margaret Morrissey, founder of...
Compared to the other members of Girls Aloud, Kimberley Walsh has kept a pretty low profile since the band rocketed to stardom eight years ago.
While X Factor judge Cheryl Cole became the nation’s sweetheart and glamorous Sarah Harding gained a reputation as a party-loving rock chick, Kimberley seemed content to remain more on the sidelines. She modelled a collection for High Street fashion chain New Look, made a TV documentary about jeans and trekked up Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic...
Thursday 17 June 2010
In an ideal world children would remain innocent little angels playing innocent sweet games until … when? Who is to decide?
Children are born curious. Asking endless questions is how they learn. Of course different children ask different questions at different ages and of course some parents find the “Where do babies come from” questions just too embarrassing to answer. Or they fall back on the age-old get-out statements: “Under a gooseberry bush” or “Wait till you’re older”.