With sex education in schools a topic of discussion amongst many parents, a leading independent baby product review website in the UK has conducted a survey to find out how parents really feel about their children being taught about the sensitive subject.
Although not compulsory in schools, sex education is still a highly debated topic amongst parents. A survey has been conducted by a leading independent baby product review website in the UK to ask parents how they feel about their children learning about the subject in a school environment.
www.babychild.org.uk polled 1,732 parents in the UK, with children aged between 5 and 11 years old. Respondents were initially asked “Do you agree with the fact that sex education is often taught to children in schools, even from a young age?” to which over half of them, 59%, said ‘no.’
The respondents who claimed that sex education should not be taught in schools to children were then asked to explain their decision. 41% said that sex education is ‘inappropriate for children,’ whilst just less than a third, 28%, stated that it should be ‘the parent’s choice’ to decide whether or not they wanted to educate their child on the subject.
A further 22% thought that ‘it might encourage children to ask more about sexuality and sex,’ whilst one in ten, 9%, feared that ‘sex would be trivialized,’ if taught to younger children in schools.
According to the research, just under half of the total respondents, 48%, also thought that sex education should not be part of the school curriculum until at least the age of 13 and, even then, the majority, 65%, said it should mostly be about contraception. 36% claimed that they thought it should focus more on relationships between men and women.
Furthermore, when asked ‘Have you already been asked about sex by your children?’ just under two third, 61%, answered ‘yes.’ 47% of these same parents admitted that their child was aged between 4 and 5 when they first asked the question, whilst 36% said they were aged between 6 and 7 when they first asked.
When asked ‘How did you react when you were asked about sex by your child?’ over a third, 38%, admitted to feeling ‘embarrassed.’ One in three, 32%, ‘didn’t know what to say,’ whilst 13% ‘redirected their children to the 2nd parent’ for them to deal with it and 7% just ‘ignored the question.’
Andy Barr, co-founder of BabyChild.org.uk, commented on the study’s findings:
“We wanted to ask parents how they felt with regards to sex education at school and the fact that it is a subject taught to many children. I am not surprised by the results of the study, with the majority of parents against the idea of sex education in a school environment. This is a sensitive subject and parents have their own way to approach it and want to control what their children know, even more so at a young age.”
“Children are constantly exposed to sexuality with TV, magazines and through various other forms of media. It’s our role to make sure that what they hear, know or learn is suitable for their age.”