The country that brought loopy eyeliner, messy beehive hairdos and people named "Posh" and "Becks" to American culture has finally come up with something reasonable. Let's hope this one gets imported -- right, mate?
Sex education will now be obligatory for public school students in Britain in order to address the teen pregnancy rate, says Schools Minister Jim Knight. Britain, which has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Western Europe, decided nine years ago to cut the teen pregnancy rate in half by 2010. Compulsory sex ed is one step in its master plan -- and a brilliant step at that.
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You hear that, Bristol Palin? On this side of the pond, as we all know, many public schools funded with your taxpayer money are plagued by abstinence-only education, whose inefficacy is proven yet ignored. Teaching "save yourself until marriage" in place of, oh, facts never made sense to begin with and it only became worse under President Bush and his cronies on the religious right.
Of course, British critics of comprehensive sex education scorched the plan; some silly newspaper trumpeted a headline that five-year-olds would be learning about intercourse. That led Knight, the Schools Minister, to give reporters the obvious quote,"We are not suggesting five- or six-year-olds be taught sex." Knight emphasized that all children, especially younger ones, will be learning about communication skills and healthy relationships as part of sex ed.
Neverthless, the BBC visited a UK primary school to see what kind of nasty sexuality positions these little cartoon-watching, sluts-on-training-wheels are learning. It found British youngsters know all about that pernicious subject of....breasts! Writes the Beeb:
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Children in some primary schools know the correct name, as part of their lessons on the differences between males and females....."Women have boobs and boys don't," says eight-year-old Malachai, to the amusement of his classmates at a primary school in London. "Right," says the teacher, "get it off your chests, laugh it off." She then praises him - "someone had to say it" - but acknowledges the embarrassment of some of the children and steers them professionally onto the correct terminology. Thus "females have breasts" joins the list of differences on her flip chart.
Dangerous stuff, indeed.