Saturday 25 November 2017

Mary Kenny: Sex and the classroom

Why teaching sex education to teenagers is the worst job in the world

Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

A teenage mother was telling me she had two pregnancies before the age of 15, and I then ventured to ask if there had been any sex education at her school.

"Oh yeah! It was a hoot!" she chortled. "We were all cracking up with laughter while the teacher struggled to pull a condom onto a banana! The lads were making masturbation gestures, and you should have seen the teacher's face - she was beetroot with embarrassment!" It was at that moment that I decided that teaching sex education to adolescents, or pre-adolescents, must be one of the least-envied of professional tasks.

There may be individuals who can deliver such a lesson skilfully, but, it would seem, not very many. An international survey of sex education in schools - involving 10 countries, including Ireland - reported that young people grouched and grumbled about almost every single aspect of sex education lessons.

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