As parliament advises that primary school pupils should be given sex education from an earlier age, the public have stood divided on the matter. Our writer argues the case in favour of earlier sex ed.
While on the one hand, parents are desperate to protect their children from growing up too fast, there are other issues at stake here.
The first, is that some children experience puberty at a younger age, younger than say, 11 - the current age for many primary schools to first broach the subject of sex education.
Children need to be given the tools to protect themselves against predators
Can you imagine the terror at having changes happen to your body, before you even know what they are?
A girl I knew growing up experienced her first period when she was 9 - before we had any formal knowledge of what to expect.
And while she soon became clued up on the matter, it would have surely been a much less terrifying event if we had been taught about the basics before it started to occur.
(Mortifyingly, she was then forced to use the staff toilet from then on because the children’s facilities did not contain sanitary bins.)
Secondly, there is the prevalent threat of paedophiles online.
We’ve all seen the Paedophile Hunter, and we’ve all seen how with the growth of the internet and technology there are sadly more ways for perverse individuals to contact, and potentially harm, children.
Would it not be prudent then to teach them of that danger; that there are people out there who sometimes don’t have their best interests at heart.
Despite it being a sad state of affairs that we have to do this, it is the way things are. And it’s still better than the alternative of them falling into the hands of someone who will abuse them.