A Christian Response to Sex Education
The following report is on a talk that was given by Dr Ted Williams, former Director of Public Health, Croydon Health Authority in St Matthews Church, Cheltenham on Wednesday 6 April 2005. Dr Ted Williams gave a Christian argument against the national sex education policy which he blamed for a rise in the number of teenage pregnancies and the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases.
He began by quoting Prime minister Tony Blair - "Every year some 90,000 teenagers in England become pregnant... As a country we can't afford to continue to ignore this shameful record." Professor Michael Adler, a key government adviser, said we "now face a public health crisis in relation to sexual health'.
Dr Williams, speaking as part of a talk organised by mediamarch and United for Life, criticised the basic premise of free will behind detailed and often explicit sex education leaflets and teachings. Sex Education started in the early 1970s'. The well documented stated aims of sex education are:
- to reduce unplanned teenage pregnancy
- to reduce abortion
- to reduce STDs
The main protagonist behind this sex education policy is the National Health Service and behind the NHS are organisations such as the Family Planning Association and Brook etc. Schools are targeted by the NHS as a vehicle for this sex education and while schools can decide independently what to deliver, there is an expectation to follow government policy.
With the 1974 Act of Parliament the Government became responsible for supplying contraceptives to children free of charge. The argument was that children needed contraception to prevent the three points above (teenage pregnancy, abortion and STDs). A disturbing aspect of this Act was that it allowed doctors to prescribe contraceptives to children without the knowledge or consent of their parents. Children aged 14 or 15, or even 11 or 12 could go to a NHS clinic or family planning clinic or youth club and receive contraceptives. These are children under the age of consent.
In 2002 the 'Sex and Relationship Guidance' teaches that contraception is at the heart of sex education. "Knowledge of different types of contraception and availability of contraception is a major part of the Government's strategy to reduce teen pregnancy."
We now have in the UK a massive Government funded campaign promoting messages of sex education (so-called 'safer sex') for the last three decades. Every health authority in the UK has had a health promotion department promoting 'safer sex'. Funding for this strategy has been a priority. Government funded literature eg 'Lovelife, Sexual Health for Young Persons' produced by the Health Education Authority. This booklet teaches children how to use condoms. The message is that everybody is doing 'IT'. It is up to the child to decide what is right for them. It is their choice and their right to have sex. What the child wants is what the child has. If they want to have sex that's OK, so long as they use a condom. This booklet states as a "FACT: Only condoms provide 'all-in-one' protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection, including HIV". So we have to ask ourselves why there is an epidemic of STDs? This 'fact' is a deception because condoms do not provide full protection against a single STD or HIV. The failure rate, which is not mentioned, is considerable when used by young people for all sorts of reasons.
The moral philosophy of sex education
Sex education literature never teaches that any type of sexual activity is wrong. To do so is judgemental, or worse, moralising. The effect is to demoralise sexual behaviour in the eyes of children. Cognitively immature children are taught that they can make an 'informed choice' whether or not to have sex. Whatever choice they make is right for them. Therefore the basis of sex education is immorality.
The current policy of explaining how to practise 'safer sex' exposes children to the details of carnal relations which undermines modesty in girls and chivalry in boys. What excuse can any girl have for not agreeing to sex with her boyfriend when she is supposed to know all about safer sex? What girl who has practised unrolling condoms can pretend to be modest? These girls are trapped - they are being prepared for a life of promiscuous sex. And for the boys, they are being introduced to ideas and images that are way beyond their understanding. The explicit images exposes them to unnatural sexual thoughts that inflame sexual lust.
Characteristics of sex education are:
- Amoral - do what you want, no sexual behaviour is right or wrong
- Explicit - attacks modesty and chastity (some material is pornographic)
- Promotes bisexuality as norm
- Ignores marriage and family in vast majority of literature
Approximately 50 million pamphlets and booklets have been produced in the UK in the past decade by advocates of sex education to children. This has not reduced teen pregnancy, abortion or STDs. Indeed sexual activity for the under 16s has risen from approx 5% before the 70's to 27% at the present time. Children whose first sexual intercourse is under 16 are more likely to develop promiscuous lifestyles. In 1975 the first contacts for girls under 16 going for contraception was 8000. Today it is 88,000. The only drop in the figures occurred in 1984 when Victoria Gillick challenged the lawfulness of giving under age girls contraception. At that time contraception dropped by half and the abortion rate, against claims to the contrary, also dropped marginally.
Since the 1980's emergency contraception from clinics has risen to 800,000 (the national birth rate is 600,000). A decline in the latest figures is due to the morning after pill (MAP) being available over the counter. Under 16's taking this in 1994 was 13,000. Now it is 27,000.
So, if condoms offer this 'all in one protection', why is there such a need for emergency protection?
In 1968 abortion was legalised. There are now 181,582 abortions a year. The highest increase has been in the under 16 age group.
Dr Williams outlined a history of how the change in Government policy occurred, ranging from Friedrich Nietzche's concept that God is dead and people choose their own morality to Alfred Kinsey's assertion that sex is a biological instinct that should be chosen free from cultural or moral inhibitions. (He himself engaged in a variety of sexual behaviour including paedophilia).
The Government's desire to cut teenage pregnancy with sex education has ironically had the opposite effect. The more young people are recruited into using contraception, the more sexual activity among young people, the higher the rate of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection and infertility.
There is a better way. There is a message of hope. The solution is a mixture of abstinence and Christian teaching. Without compromise the Church must take every opportunity to teach the biblical virtues of modesty, chivalry, chastity and fidelity. These virtues must be preached from pulpits across the land and parents must teach them at home.
Click here for further information on Dr Ted Williams, or to find out more about his other books.