Give kids sex education facts and teach them to be kind

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Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi seems to agree and, this week, insisted parents should know what sex education their children are being taught.

WHEN my oldest daughter was about six, she asked me: “Mummy, do you know what being gay means?”

Having vowed to always tell my kids the age-appropriate truth when they asked a question, I launched into: “It’s when a man loves a man, or a woman loves . . . ”

But she interrupted me with, “No, I know what it means. I just wanted to make sure that you did.”

Although there were same sex couples in our close social circle, I had never felt the need to label it, so presumably “being gay” was something she had learned in the school classroom or playground.

Fair enough. Back in the days before electricity, sex education at my primary school consisted of a Family Circle pamphlet about birds and bees, progressing to a book called Where Did I Come From? at secondary.

It explained: “The man wants to get as close to the woman as he can get, because he’s feeling very loving towards her. And to get really close the best thing he can do is lie on top of her and put his penis inside her, into her vagina.”

Fear not, although it sounds like sexual assault, there was some preamble about the couple loving each other first, etc.

Amusingly, the book also pointed out that, while the “tickly feeling” is very nice, couples don’t do it all the time because it’s “very tiring.

More than playing football, or running, or skipping, or climbing trees, or almost anything”. Indeed. The rest of my sex education came from the problem page in Jackie magazine.

Times have changed, of course, but while it’s important that kids know there are alternatives to heterosexuality, the teaching should be age-appropriate and factual, not agenda-driven.

And crucially, parents should know what their children are being taught, so they can have informed discussions at home.

So recent reports that certain schools are keeping parents in the dark while pushing contested gender theory as fact are deeply worrying.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi seems to agree and, this week, insisted parents should know what sex education their children are being taught and reiterated a commitment for teaching guidelines on the issue.

Trouble is, a lot of schools outsource sex education to agencies with different outlooks (and, in some cases, agendas), leading to what one MP described as a “Wild West” scenario.

‘A plethora of deeply inappropriate material’

Worse, the agency staff don’t need qualifications in education or child development and there is no regulation of their curriculum.

Last week, MPs were told that some parents said their child showed no sign of questioning their gender until they attended the relationship and sex education (RSE) classes that were made compulsory in 2020.

Now, 79 per cent of secondary school teachers have pupils presenting as trans or non-binary. Tory MP Miriam Cates, a former biology teacher, said last week that the rise in children wanting to transition was “a social contagion, driven by the internet and reinforced in schools”.

She added that children are being exposed to “a plethora of deeply inappropriate, wildly inaccurate, sexually explicit and damaging materials in the name of sex education” and that gender ideology “has no basis in science”.

We have come a long way since that “tickly feeling” but the Government must ensure we do not go too far, too soon with impressionable young minds.

Meanwhile, schools should simply give pupils the facts, good and bad, while simultaneously teaching the vital skill of critical thinking, so they can make informed decisions about their sexuality in their own time.

But most of all, if you simply teach kids to be kind and respectful of other people’s beliefs and (within the law) choices, then the world will be a far happier place.

Parish wife’s excuse is not cutting it

FORMER Tory MP Neil Parish, who quit after being caught watching porn in Parliament, has praised his wife Sue.

The ex-farmer – who claimed he stumbled on the porn after searching for a Dominator combine harvester – says: “She knows I’m no angel, she chases me around the kitchen with scissors saying ‘snipper snap’, knowing full well what part of my anatomy she is after. She knows what I’m like.”

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