Today millions of children across the UK are playing out in the sunshine enjoying the last week of their Easter holidays. But one pair of children remain in a hospital room welcoming their new-born into the world. This is no gift, no miracle and no blessing. It is wrong and should never have been allowed to happen.

Britain's youngest parents have given birth to their 7lb baby who has not yet been named

Britain's youngest parents have given birth to their 7lb baby who has not yet been named

The consensual age for sex in this country is 16. It has been debated for many years, but as the average age people lose their virginity stands at just that, I would say it’s pretty spot on. I for one am not ignorant to the goings on of teenager life. I am still safely in that category myself and I am pretty sure the whole country is very aware that teenagers do not patiently wait until their 16th birthday to get a little action. However, a couple of 15-year-olds experimenting is very different to an 11-year-old girl falling pregnant.

Sex is everywhere, on every billboard, in every music video and in every single lyrical line of contemporary hits. But the teaching of sex and the exposure to it are very contrasting things. David Cameron and his smooth running coalition, pardon the sarcasm, have dismissed claims that sex education in the UK is not up to scratch. I beg to differ.

As an 18-year-old – part teenager, part adult – it was not so long ago I was sitting in a prepubescent classroom with a group of fellow prude 11-year-olds, and what I received could not even be classified as remotely educational. We had our 30-something receptionist shave her legs in front of the girls while a tampon was placed in a glass of water, demonstrating its absorbent mechanism. The boys – all they got was a black and white 30 second video of the first date of Mr Sperm and Mrs Egg. They were married of course.

Then let’s skip right across to the music videos that every single British teenager has access to, which in many cases are three minutes of soft porn – and that’s just a click away from the hard-core pornography available to anyone with Wi-Fi.

Young people are vulnerable, and not sending them out into the real world with a real education of sex leads them down dangerous paths. Young girls need to be taught about pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and rape. The boys need to be taught that pornography is not sex and is not what they should expect from their naïve and young classmates. Both need to be taught the myths of the trade, that double bagging does not prevent pregnancy and you most definitely can become ripe with child after the first encounter.

This was the reason given by Britain’s youngest mother-to-be, aged just 11, when the news of her pregnancy broke to the press. She and her 12-year-old boyfriend had embraced their sexuality just the once so she thought she was safe.

We cannot blame this girl for her naivety and the parents cannot be held fully responsible for not keeping a beady eye on this child. The government need to take some accountability for this crisis as it is them and only them who have the power and control over what goes in and out of our national curriculum.

I am not at all saying that primary school children should be shown hardcore pornography Kim Kardashian style, but the coalition need to up their game. Young people need to be taught in a very adult way what sex is, how it happens and what the risks are. If we don’t do this very soon then I suppose we’ll have to start building crèches into schools as this 12-year-old mother may just be the start of a very dangerous trend.

Comments

 

Granny is only 27, so presumably the girl is following  family tradition.

Talking of sex education, I am still traumatised from 10 years ago when I had to attend 4 days of staff training at a college of education where  I was employed.   One of the sessions in this 4 day waste-of-a-precious-Easter-break included a sex education lesson that could be taught to our students .   As this was a college of further education where  most students would be over 16, my first thoughts were “what could we possibly teach them that they don’t already know?”

As it turns out, absolutely nothing but confusion and embarrassment.  Picture the scene,  thirty or so teachers, some new to the profession, others, like myself with years of experience, put into 3 groups.  Members of two of the groups were asked, well actually told quite emphatically, to wear either a red or a green baseball cap. They were peculiarly fond of baseball caps on this course – we were ordered to wear them several times during the week when we were pretending to be students.

There was no room for negotiation with these particular trainers.  Presumably they had developed this autocratic style of teaching, whilst trying to convince their trainees that they needed to be more learner-centred in their own classes, because of the reluctance of the said trainees to engage in such nonsense.

One poor individual had to stand in the middle of the room, while the third (hatless) group joined hands around her.  Those with the green baseball caps were asked to  stand in two lines facing each other and form a corridor which lead to those aforementioned grown men and women who looked for all the world like they were playing the saddest ever game of ring-a-ring-a-rosy.   The red baseball cap wearers were then asked to go outside of the room and await further instruction.  Those of us left in the room were told that when they came back into the room, they would run down the human corridor and break the circle to reach the person standing in the middle.  Those holding hands must try to stop them gaining access to the person in the middle. 

While the trainer went out of the room to instruct the others on what they had to do, one of the teachers was heard to mutter “for God’s sake let’s just get this over and done with quickly” - a sentiment that her colleagues were more than happy to agree with. 

When the, mostly middle aged, baseball cap wearers came into the room, giving a rather lacklustre interpretation  of how sperm perform (for that is what they were supposed to be) and ran through the human corridor (which was, yes you have guessed it, supposed to be the vagina) with some half-hearted noises that they had been instructed to make to show how aggressive these dastardly little sperms are, they met very little resistance from the human ring and the first one got through the barrier and met up with the teacher in the middle. 

We all breathed a sigh of relief and the trainer congratulated us on having demonstrated how to teach using the brilliant technique of “whole body learning”.  I would have thought that youngsters could suggest a much better way of using their whole bodies to learn this particular subject. Whole body?  Excruciatingly embarrassing load of nonsense that did nothing that could not be illustrated much more effectively with a whiteboard and a marker pen.   If this is what passes for sex education, no wonder 12 year olds are getting preggers!

 

 

 

 

 

It really isn't up to scratch, I started an e-petition yesterday to try and alter what is taught in the national curriculum in terms of sex education. I'm teaming up with PinupPayback who are a feminist organisation in the area who are already going into schools and educating young people about sex, rape and pornography; so hopefully we can try and get some attention to it locally! 

My sister is nine and came home after her first sex education class, explaining to me how she now understands that when a woman is ready to have a baby she goes to the hospital to pick it up! 

 

So, how long until 11-year-old mothers become the norm?