The Liberal Democrats have unveiled plans to deliver lessons on sex and relationships to children as young as seven, the Christian Institute (CI) has warned.
According to Colin Hart, CI director, there are concerns that making sex education compulsory would lead to greater sexualisation of children.
At present, only secondary schools are required to teach sex education. Primary schools have discretion whether or not to teach the subject. Mr Hart said, ‘Under the Lib Dems’ dangerous plans, sex education would be centralised and put in the hands of groups that promote the use of resources that are unsuitable for young children.
‘Schools are being recommended these resources, and, if the Lib Dems get their way, our concern is that schools would be expected to use them’.
Mr Hart warned that extending sex education to primary schools would also risk undermining parents as they face the difficult job of bringing up their children. He added: ‘In a sex-saturated culture, schools should be one place where children are allowed to get on with life without facing pressure to deal with things they are not ready for’.
Mr Hart said schools could deal with issues such as relationships and internet porn in an ‘age-appropriate’ way, without making sex education compulsory for seven-year-olds, and without risking a dangerous effect on their young minds.
He added: ‘Groups that have a track record of promoting gratuitously explicit and inappropriate materials want to force these lessons on schools when there is simply no need, and in a way which does more harm than good’.
Mr Hart pointed to the Sex Education Forum, whose website suggests that primary schools use a book showing drawings of a variety of sexual positions. It also recommends a controversial sex education video, produced by Channel 4, called ‘Living and growing’, which includes an animated sex scene.