Eff that noise says Seldon in the Daily Telegraph: “Anything that trivialises or treats it as something mundane or easy, particularly for young people, is damaging their ability to grow up and to properly form a loving lasting relationship. It devalues sex, it makes it like an ordinary, everyday thing like going to have a McDonald’s.”
Let me get this straight. There are people out there in the UK (and beyond, but let's keep it local for now else we shan't cope) who want to 1) reduce both access and time limits for abortion, 2) reduce access to contraception 3) severely edit sex education to abstinence only classes. Oh yeah and 4) solve this teen pregnancy issue. Now... I have had a while to think about this, so I will give you a moment to take a look at that list and see if you can spot a subtle flaw.
Until teenagers start providing their parents with some kind of consent form for them to have sex then I sincerely doubt there's much point in insisting on some form of notification for parents regarding student access to contraception – beyond the fact it is being made available.
Let's look at that RespectYourself site again. Notice something to the right of the screen? It's an exit quickly button. What does that mean? Well, it means that when you click it you will be immediately redirected to the Google search page – la la la. The site won't appear on your browsing history and no one will know what you've been looking at. Where else do we see this swift exit button? Domestic Abuse sites. What does that tell you? What does that mean? Fine, some teens who feel embarrassment might be grateful of the old click and 'scape button, for others it could be a lifesaver.
Now, I understand - being a lover of both language and science – the value of correct terms. I don't want my hypothetical teenage charge to have 'fanny' and part of their usual sexual vernacular or fanacular if you will (don't). I do, however, want them to have a clue what people are talking about and to have the confidence to either confidently refuse any experiments with the armpit or comfortably give it a go with someone they love. In my role here as a hypothetical parent I know that I do not want to discuss fetish beyond what it means – no specifics, unlike Bel Mooney who won't stop going on about bagpiping. But I also don't want this hypothetical teenager – let's call her Bella in anticipation of Twi-name popularity – I don't want Bella feeling coerced into an act in order to conceal naivete.
In addition to safe access to contraception and the RespectYourself.info site the NHAT is calling for sex ed classes to include the subject of pornography. Leonie Hodge of the Family Lives Charity said of those who disagreed with including the subject in sex education classes: “What you are effectively doing is shutting the door to them saying we find this uncomfortable, therefore we're not going to talk about it. But these issues are not going to go away.” One student who had been present in the SRE class about pornography explained how: “it made me realise how fake porn is...” That is the key, that is the answer. For young people to realise porn is fantasy, more importantly it is a certain person's fantasy and not a collective ideal. The teen fear is that Everybody else is doing it but them ('it' can be anything, sex, dying their hair, calligraphy), to realise not everybody includes bleached hair extensions, breast implants and intimate shaving as part of their bog standard sexual repertoire is now a vital part of sex ed.
What is so peculiar about the debates about underage sex, sex education and abortion is that the people actually concerned never seem to be asked about it. Why did three men discuss underage girls getting contraception on BBC Radio 4 this morning? I am not saying get Sarah Montague on it, I am saying let's ask a teenage girl. Let's ask lots of teenagers. They are not only asking for this service, but using it, so let's ask them for their answers.
To ignore it, to refuse to discuss it, to rebuke those who are bringing up the subjects in a responsible manner in the hope this will cause the issues of STDs, underage sex, rape and teen pregnancy to simply Go Away is tantamount to spraying cologne on a carcass.
Sexing the Cherry
Positive Social Status
It's 10pm, do you know what's in your teenage daughter's upper arm?
Injection of Protection
He Said She Said Sex Ed failing young people