Wednesday 18 January 2017

School sex education must be comprehensive and regulated

Promoting abstinence-only sex education without a proper balance is a dangerous cop-out

Published 23/02/2014 | 02:30

Sex education is a must for the young
Sex education is a must for the young

The spokesperson from the Pure in Heart group said that all the information presented was "based upon medical evidence, up-to-date statistics and facts". Well, Holy God, as the late Mick Lally might say. Because according to reports from children who have heard the presentations, they were informed that self-gratification (masturbation to you and me) can lead to depression, the use of contraception doesn't honour your partner's fertility – "there is no condom for the heart" – and watching pornography is linked to serial killing.

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Sounds like scare-mongering? But hang on, before we start getting all self-righteous and liberal about it – what if they're right?

Because, if you spent all day, every day, masturbating until your genitals hurt and your social life had disappeared, that wouldn't be terrific for your mental health, would it? (It makes a change from the old admonition from the Christian Brothers that masturbation would make you go blind or cause your IQ to drop – and yes, they had "medical evidence" for those "facts" also.) And perhaps, if you were a little psychotic to begin with, and became addicted to violent pornography, it may give you murderous ideas you might act out. So, on these issues, if we take the extremes, Pure in Heart can be said to have a point, albeit of the "slippery slope" variety.

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