Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Kidscape response to NHS Sheffield "Pleasure" leaflet

The other day I asked whether Kidscape might have a view on the dreadful leaflet "Pleasure" produced by NHS Sheffield. (See: More taxpayer-funded sex-ed filth) Peter Bradley, the Deputy Director of Kidscape, has written as follows:
Kidscape certainly have a view on the "Pleasure" leaflet produced in Sheffield. Michele Elliott has already spoken out about this on Radio Sheffield - she made Kidscape's view loud and clear. In summary - parts of the leaflet provide young people with ridiculous, irresponsible advice that may lead young people on a potential sexual path of misery and harm. This is a frequent message adults tell us about on reflection in later, more mature years.

How about a leaflet exploring the necessary skills for teenagers to say to say "No". Would the NHS fund this? With high rates of teenage pregnancy, Chlamydia and other S.T.I.'s it is incredible the same old messages are recycled, sexed up and promoted. If the professional messages don't change how can we expect young people's sexual activity to change? After 20 years of working in the sexual health field I have seen for myself how it is far too easy for workers to hand out free condoms to children without providing accurate information or the opportunity to discuss the moral issues many young people seek to discuss but workers do not provide. Don't get me wrong, young people should be given accurate up to date information around sexual health and relationship options - but they must also be able to make an informed choice based on accurate, thought provoking information which is inclusive for all.

"An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away" (Stated in leaflet) - my advice - "Stick to apples".
We might have one or two differences on what constitutes appropriate discussion of moral issues, information and sexual health and relationship options but it is most encouraging that the respected child-protection charity, Kidscape, which focuses particularly on preventing bullying, has taken such a robust and sensible view on the "Pleasure" leaflet. Michelle Elliott pointed out that
"Young people under 16 should not be having sex... We know they do, but we should not encourage it."
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