Saturday, October 25, 2008

Solution to Teen Pregnancy: Teach Sex in Kindergarten

... with one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Europe, the British government is bringing sex education to all schools in England — including kindergartens.

-- From "Kindergarten sex ed mandatory in England" Associated Press 10/24/08

While countries like France, Holland and China already require sex education, few places demand that it be introduced at such a young age.

The government hasn’t detailed what the new curriculum will look like, but schools will be asked to provide lessons on relationships and contraception, topics not previously required.

Britain has among the highest teen pregnancy rates in Europe, with government figures showing that about 39,000 girls between ages 15 and 17 became pregnant in 2006, the year for which the most recent figures are available. An additional 7,200 girls between the ages of 13 and 14 were reported pregnant the same year.

French students get sex ed in middle and high schools. Norwegian students typically get mandatory sex education around age 15. The topic is not mandatory but left up to principals and teachers in Italy.

In Finland, at age 11 or 12 children in school are taught about reproduction but sexual health and human relations begins between age 14 or 15. The Finish children’s watchdog, the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, last month proposed distributing free condoms to ninth graders (16 year olds) in schools to the stop spread of sexually transmitted diseases; education authorities rejected it.

In the United States, which lacks a national curriculum, the decision to offer sex education is left to individual states and districts. In recent years, the federal government has funded programs promoting sexual abstinence. The abstinence programs are favored by religious conservatives.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.