Good morning readers. Look at me please. Eyes to the front.  Andrew Bolt please bring whatever you’re playing with under that desk and put it on my table.

Ah, adolescence ... the period in life when discussion never turns to sex

Thank you Andrew.  Everyone settled?

Excellent. Today we’re going to learn about why it’s impossible to introduce a rational sex education curriculum into our 21st century schooling system.

Let’s begin with a simple example. The Victorian government – and let’s remember that state governments are chronically terrified of upsetting anyone about anything – recently made the bizarre decision to introduce sex education to students in Years 9 and 10 which asks them to actually discuss sex.

The sexual “acts” they are invited to consider range across all kinds of lewd and unnatural behaviours – ‘eye contact’ being a particularly potent example – and are detailed in a curriculum document with the characteristically catchy title: “Catching On”.

Teachers are even encouraged to ask students to discuss their own experiences and views on sexual practices, sexual ethics and intimate relationships. Clearly, that’s ridiculously sane. On what planet do these evidence-based sex education policy makers live? Naturally there’s been an outcry.

Sure there’s perfectly good evidence that around 50 % of teenagers are sexually active in some form by the age of 15. Sure a lot of young people in Year 10 are of the legal age of sexual consent. But do these sexperts really think we should be rubbing that legal reality in their faces?

Andrew, what’s so funny? Would you like to share your joke with the rest of us?

History tells us that sex education in Australia has no place in the classroom – apart from the usual alarming pictures of people cut in half with arrows pointing to weird reproductive and urinary bits.

Real sex education, as we know, happens behind the sand dunes, at the back of the school excursion bus, and at sleep-overs with your girlfriends where you get to practice tongue-kissing a door knob. That’s the Australian way.

Why complicate things for shock jocks and right-wing commentators by encouraging young people to talk about how they negotiate sexual encounters, to discuss sexual ethics and to think about how you ensure you have real consent? Why get them thinking – of all things – about how boys and girls might feel differently about the pressures on them to have sex and how they might be judged by their peers?

The next thing you know we’ll be opening the door to discussions about gay and lesbian teenagers and why they’ve been made completely invisible in the standard ‘here’s how you make babies’ personal development curriculum. And that would clearly upset our more homophobic commentators.

Excuse me George Pell. What’s that you’re mumbling under your breath? What about morality you say? Well of course a decent sex education program should include a discussion about values, including the potential value of abstinence. You’re not the only one in the room with a family or with values George.

Thanks for bringing up the topic of ethics, though, because clearly sex education should encourage young people to think about what’s at stake in just standing by while someone else is being mistreated or even sexually assaulted. You’ll remember we discussed the bystander issue last week when we talk about the way child sexual abuse was tolerated and ignored for so many decades by allegedly respectable authority figures.

That’s enough for today though because clearly the idea that our education system would introduce uniform, relevant and engaging sex education is a fantasy. The bell’s about to go. And may I remind you to refrain from sexting each other in the playground. Please leave that whole can of worms at home, preferably under your beds, where it belongs.

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Most commented


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    • The Scarlet Pimpernel says:

      08:16am | 03/08/10

      OK, so they’ll come out of school being sexually well-adjusted. It would be nice if they could spell, had a passing knowledge of grammar and perhaps (shock, horror) be able to tackle simple arithmetic.

      The teachers’ union seem more interested in social engineering than actually teaching these days.

    • Kirk says:

      08:34am | 03/08/10

      Agreed.  We should increase funding to private schools and tax deductions for wealthy parents, and that will fix that problem.

    • crizza says:

      09:12am | 03/08/10

      what you really mean is that you want to dumb down education to the three Rs so we can have a world of maladjusted accountants who know how to read a writ.

    • Steely Dan says:

      09:17am | 03/08/10

      Must be an election on… a journalist makes a comment about sex education and the first response is about how unions are engaged in ‘social engineering’.

    • papachango says:

      01:42pm | 03/08/10

      @crizza - ‘dumbing down’ to the 3 R’s? Are you kidding me? It is essential to get these right before you teach anything else. Something the teacher’s union seem to have forgotten.

    • Gavin says:

      03:37pm | 03/08/10

      I didn’t realise that sex education had to happen in lieu of the 3 r’s Scarlet Pimpernel and Pappachango.

    • Levie says:

      12:20pm | 04/08/10

      of course that’s what the teacher’s union has to do. It’s what parents expect of us teachers!

      These days teaching kids knowledge isn’t enough we also have to be responsible for their emotional development, or we’re being bad teachers. Sex education should not need to happen at school at all, parents should be the ones taking care of it. But they’re not and it’s lumped onto us, then it’s the education system that cops the blame when kids grow up to be morons.

    • crizza says:

      03:41pm | 04/08/10

      Yeah that’s right @papachango - but as a foundation, not a poor excuse for a total education. If all we’ve come to after thousands of years of civilisation is the ability to spell and count, then what’s it all for? What a shallow, soulless race we’ll have become. See what’s happened in the UK with their total focus on 3R education and you’ll see the slippery slope we’re on.

    • Calm down says:

      09:52am | 05/08/10

      Can I please just point out that the teachers’  union doesn’t set the curriculum? These are currently developed by state governments, and have been for over 100 years.
      If you’re going to union bash, at least get your facts right. Scarlet Pimpernel,  Kirk, Papachango - looks like your desire to blame the Big Nasty Unions overrides any need to consider reality.

    • BK says:

      08:21am | 03/08/10

      Everyone agrees on the need for sex education. Good luck getting people to agree on the content. Any curriculum will either be criticised for promoting homosexuality or not discussing it as normal. Any discussion of grey rape will be seen as “blaming the victim”. In fact, most opinions about rape, DV or sexual harassment is labelled “blaming the victim”. If we aren’t “blaming the victim”, we are “playing the victim”. Any discussion of ethics is fine as long as we are only judging others.

    • Sherlock says:

      09:37am | 03/08/10

      That’s the problem isn’t it? While everything starts with good intentions it gets hijacked by people with a left wing politically correct agenda.

      Not surprisingly there are people in the world who don’t want their kids to be taught that having two daddies or two mummies is “normal”. There are people in this world that don’t want their kids to be taught that an abortion is the first resort to solving the problem of an inconvenient pregnancy .

      There are many views in this world but unfortunately the left, in their absolute belief of their own infallibility, are convinced that their opinion is the only right one.

    • TJ says:

      03:35pm | 03/08/10

      What is grey rape?

    • Michael says:

      03:45pm | 03/08/10

      Oh yes Sherlock. Luckily the bigoted Right Wing happy-clappers don’t have that same problem. And like it or not, homosexuality is gradually becoming more “normal” as the world around people like you progresses. In 30 years or so, our society will look at people who think homosexuality is abnormal with the same scorn and condescension that the vast majority of us have for people who think inter-racial relationships are abnormal.

    • BK says:

      07:06am | 04/08/10

      Grey rape is a term used when it is difficult to decide whether or not to describe sex as rape. It may be unclear exactly what she did or didn’t consent to. It may be unclear whether she was too drunk, young or mentally impaired to give consent. It is hard to discuss grey rape in our society, because portraying rape in this way leads to allegations of “blaming the victim”.

    • Sherekahn says:

      11:38am | 04/08/10

      Wow this is a hot one!
      When I was about 15 I bought a very pleasant book on sex that taught me a lot.  This was a long time ago!
      On a bus outing to Blackpool seaside in England at the same age, me and my mates went into a sexual diseases museum.
      My mates had to “lead me out into the fresh air,” as I went vague and dizzy!  It cures a lot, let me tell you!

      In today’s world kids have matured quicker, so much so that the laws of under age sex are seriously out of date.
      I would like to see this adjusted so that a scale was introduced to differentiate between, having carnal knowledge of a girl 16 years of age was considered a milder crime, than that of a girl 15-14-13!
      Perhaps the laws surrounding this subject should be taught in schools.  Also for the boys to be taught respect towards the female members of their families and society at large.

    • TJ says:

      03:28pm | 04/08/10

      It’s not just in today’s world kids have matured quickly, we are actually going backwards, way back when girls used to be married off when they had their first period, 12 or 13 years old off to start their families, one of englands queens (I think she was a queen) married when she was 9 and the legal age of intercourse was 12)

    • Tim says:

      08:28am | 03/08/10

      was that whole article meant to be one big straw man or is that just the way it turned out?
      Great article.

    • the apologist says:

      08:30am | 03/08/10

      What ever happened to parental responsibility in the area of educating one’s children? particularly on these issues.

      The last thing we need (well not strictly the last thing, but you take my point i’m sure) is some ‘sex education’ curriculum pushing very deliberately non-nuetral values and agendas while touting an ‘objective’ education to benefit present and future generations(oh please!).

      You might argue that it’s happening anyway, why not regulate it/educate on it, but this is a false argument pushing a deliberate agenda. The curriculum that you’re talking about effectively accepts these behaviours as being ok, and entirely rejects the position that they are wrong. This is a significant underlying aspect of the curriculum that is not immediately apparent.

      It’s also a deliberate push to indoctrinate the next generation in a similar moral position, and encourage them to further engage in (and develop) ethically wrong behaviours.

      No wonder the behavioural and moral standards of emerging generations are going down the toilet (ask any teacher in the public education system…), what do you expect when garbage like this curriculum is being forced down their throats?

    • unbelievable says:

      09:07am | 03/08/10

      It is probably the same issue as parents teaching kids to drive - a fear of them “imparting bad habits”. Far out! What do the kids need to know and what do the teachers want to teach them? Sex ed when I was at school was the mechanics of it, and how to “stay safe”. Plus a few scary photos about what could happen if you didn’t. Thats all we were told and the rest was up to us. What more do kids want to know and teachers want to tell? An excusion to the sex shop? I can only imagine what would happen up the back of the bus on they way home from that one. I don’t have kids, but I have to say I am noticing that teachers and government have too much to say about how parents raise their kids and parents just accept it. I can’t believe it. This is the one of the major things that parental guideance is required, the old “birds and the bees chat”. Though I am sure difficult to have, if I were a parent I can’t imagine leaving that kind of discussion up to someone else.

    • SkepDad says:

      09:33am | 03/08/10

      A standard sex education seems like a good idea.  If we leave it to the parents, all the kids of deeply religious parents will continue to grow up with a distorted, unhealthy view of sex and relationships and perpetuate the prejudices and pseudo-moralistic nonsense that we see in these comments.

    • the apologist says:

      11:00am | 03/08/10

      A distorted unhealthy view of sex? Talk about prejudices! What makes you think a ‘deeply religious’position on sex and relationships is nonsense? Your comment indicates that you don’t actually know anything about the various deeply religious positions on the subject.

      You could probably safely that say I’m deeply religious, and my parents brought me up in the framework of a strong faith perspective. I was taught that sexual relationships (which entail the physical and emotional relational aspects of the whole thing) are about faithfulness, integrity, real concrete commitment, hard work, and importantly rejoicing in the gift of sexuality (have a read of Song of Songs in the Bible…).

      To my mind, a curriculum like this one presents a prejudiced perspective and unhealthy position on sex and relationships. What is it encouraging? It basically says ‘You want to please yourself now, this is how you do it, and this is how you do it frequently with any number of people – NOT for their benefit, but with a me-first attitude’. It discourages faithfulness and meaningful relationships (i.e. reducing it all to purely physical aspects), it discourages taking responsibility for ones actions (seeking sex without consequences), and it encourages sexual practices that do not offer the protection of a committed relationship and the emotional and physical safety and security that come with it.

      Prejudiced and unhealthy? Have a look at the prejudice behind your position.

      In relation to psuedo moralism, at least it’s based on a solid ethical framework. The humanistic (and presumably athiestic) framework undergirding these kinds of curriculum reduces a strong and sure ethical framework to a hazy moralistic perspective in perputual flux. You might condemn religious ethical values, but let’s see if you’ve got any of your own grounds to condemn such values and subsequently establish a valid basis for your own (and those of this curriculum).

    • TJ says:

      11:33am | 03/08/10

      What exactly do you mean by ethically wrong bahaviour? they should show graphic images of childbirth to get them to be safer lol

    • the apologist says:

      12:15pm | 03/08/10

      I mean by ‘ethically wrong behaviour’ behaviour that is ethically wrong.

      It’s quite simple. There are some behaviours/actions that are right and some that are wrong yes? (e.g. I think we could agree that killing someone is basically wrong)

      I was naturally arguing that the sexual behaviours being described are ‘wrong’ on the part of the teenagers engaging in it. Thus training them how to do it better through education does not uphold that such behaviour is wrong, quite the opposite. Definetely not a neutral curriculum.

    • TJ says:

      12:29pm | 03/08/10

      @Apologist, thank you for clarifying for me, appreciate it

    • Andrew says:

      01:35pm | 03/08/10

      Your conjecture that there are “ethically right” and “ethically wrong” actions is absurd to the extreme.  “Ethics” are completely fluid, and are determined by what society accepts at the time.  50 years ago ethics were extremely different from what they are today.  I could go back even further and look at biblical ethics - it was quite “ethical” then to kill your own daughter if she committed the heinous crime of having sex out of marriage.  Is that still “good and ethical” today?  It was also quite ethical to own slaves, perhaps we should bring that back too?

      I do agree with unbelievable here - religion has no place in education, and no place in sex education.  Teaching kids that sex outside of marriage is “evil and wrong” is in itself evil and wrong.  It’s enforcing upon vulnerable minds a very narrow world-view, and even worse, a world-view that is based on a belief that is clearly and obviously false.

      Indoctrination of children is what is “unethical”, which is why they should be protected from politics and religion until their minds are mature enough to process and judge these things for themselves.  Ask yourself how many people have a religion different from their parents?  How many people have political views that differ from their parents?  There’s a good reason for that, because the child’s mind is designed to believe everything it is told by people in authority and accept it as the truth.  Present the same ludicrous ideas (oooh, there’s a great, powerful, magical being all around us that you can’t see, can’t hear, doesn’t do anything and there is no evidence to support at all, but you have to believe in it or you’ll DIE IN HELL)  to a mature mind, and you’ll get the laughter and derision that they deserve.

    • TJ says:

      01:48pm | 03/08/10

      @Andrew, but being that it is subject to change means that we wont be teaching the outdated rules as they have obviously changed and are no longer ethically or morally accepted, it also depends on your own standard of ethics, if they include whips and chains then rock on, as you mention it changes with time and the difficulty would be finding a happy medium to teach the kids

    • Tim says:

      02:11pm | 03/08/10

      Yeah I agree with Andrew,
      Parents should have no say in the teaching of their own children.
      If there’s indoctrination to be done, we should leave it to their teachers instead. Much better.

    • Daz says:

      02:14pm | 03/08/10

      @TJ. Then logically, they should be taught the ethics of sexual interaction as appropriate for the time that they will live in. They should be taught how to interact with members of the opposite sex in an adult, open, and non-pressuring way. They should be told that it’s OK to say yes, as well as no - but you should be choosing your answer based on YOU and not anybody else.

      Ethics don’t relate to whips and chains directly, rather ethics are along the lines of - Do whatever you are BOTH comfortable with so long as you use protection. Whips/chains/positions/locations, etc, etc are just variations on the theme. The core is that it needs to be fun and enjoyable for BOTH people involved (or ALL people if appropriate), but it needs to be based on mutual respect. If one person is not enjoying it, or whole heartedly giving, then it is not good sex.

    • Matthew says:

      02:25pm | 03/08/10

      Hey TJ, the pope said recently (within 12 months) that condoms are bad.  Explain to me how religion is keeping up with the current ‘fluid’ of the majority of the population’s opinion (since that’s all that ‘ethics’ is).  Kids need to be taught the science of sex and the consequences, opinions should be left out completely.  It’s people like the apologist that would happily teach abstinence is the only way which is not only wrong, but dangerous.  Also, on the apologists comments about ‘ask any teacher in the public education system’, I did and the reason the ‘morals and standards’ of kids is ‘going down the toilet’ is due to the bad parenting and environment they were brought up in, not because they were taught something in school.

    • TJ says:

      02:43pm | 03/08/10

      but how many people actually take the pope’s word as gospel? and with all their little non religious friends talking about rubbers etc then really not many kids I know actually follow churches teaching in that regard, but then I did go to public school

    • Jeff M says:

      03:06pm | 03/08/10

      Not all parents are good at giving sex talks, my died when I was young and all my mum told me when I was 11 years old , was keep it zipped in your pants or you will go blind and your ears will probably fall off!!! I kept looking around for earless men for years..never did find any

    • Cathy says:

      04:15pm | 03/08/10

      Totally agree that parents should take this responsibility.  Lazy parents are leaving everything these days up to schools.

    • The Learner says:

      08:57pm | 03/08/10

      @ SkepDad and the apologist.

      I am a committed Christian, but there is more to it then what you might think, but in regarding to the topic of sex, I myself just recently as of 2 or 3 days have been challenged in my faith about this girl that I like and that I’ve been getting close to for a few months… she is NOT a Christian and from what she has said she is alright with sex and sex before marriage. Now knowing that, if anything were to happen between us, I would be quite upset knowing that she has (though perhaps she hasn’t) had sex, and I’m going to it this way, before we get married, that isn’t to say that she is “bad” or “unholy” or anything that a super religious Christian might like to call her but it just means that I would have to make sure that I DO NOT think that because of my abstinence that I am any better than her, I am to show, represent and portray the image of Jesus that is in the Bible, both God and man… I am to portray the transcendental and ultimate love that God has for everybody and in this way, the way that is not condemning but no matter what loving is how God is revealed on earth.

    • John says:

      09:08pm | 03/08/10

      @ Andrew

      How do you know that God isn’t real? How do you know he doesn’t do anything? and How do you know if you can or cannot hear it?

      If you want to argue religion, I suggest you at least get a taste for it first, I guarantee that if you even tried to find out more about God then you’d know for sure if he speaks or not, you’ll know whether he does anything.

      Now I know it must be annoying when Christians try to convert you or what ever your encounter with Christians have been but I encourage you to, for yourself to just think about God and perhaps not think about the flaws of Christianity as a religion but as a relationship with someone and something who thinks of you as a son of his and loves you more than anyone or anything. You’ve probably “heard it all before” but I encourage you to hear from God (then you can say you’ve heard it all).

    • Erin says:

      09:22pm | 03/08/10

      I’m not teaching my kids that sex outside of marriage is “evil and wrong”.  But I will teach that it is unhealthy and potentially dangerous.
      I will teach that the best sex you can have is with someone who loves you, not with someone who wants to f*** you.  Why is it wrong to want to teach my children that a real relationship is one with mutal respect that involves sexual relations (in all senses - ie not just intercourse) as a give and take process - it’s share time.  Promiscuity is not about that at all. 

      And can I say on a personal note, I hated being young and single because of the pressure from society to go out and get laid.  That kind of sex just made me feel gross about myself - I’d like to teach my children to aim for something better than that.

    • Jezebel says:

      09:32pm | 03/08/10

      @ the apologist says. “...seeking sex without consequences”. Gee, sex without consequences would be really boring. Well, let me define *my* concept of “consequences”. When I have sex the consequences are heavy breathing, accelerated heart rate, a few sighs and waves of pleasure.

      One does not have to read too deeply into the subtext to realise that your perception of “consequences” equates only to negative outcomes from sex.  And so, inadvertently,  you have given credence to SkepDad’s assertion that the deeply religious have a “distorted, unhealthy view of sex “.

    • Matthew says:

      11:12am | 04/08/10

      TJ, probably the million or so people that turn up in the vatican every week/month when he does it his sermons (not sure exactly how regularly, but it’s regularly enough) and that doesn’t include the priests that pass it on to their followers (obviously each church is unique, and some do not teach this, but others do and some go a whole way further).  And maybe it’s just me, but when talking about sex with peers, ‘rubbers’ were pretty low on the priority of things being talked about.  Maybe I was under a rock for most of high school, but there seems to be an awful lot of pregnant teens considering the peer pressure for them to use condoms.  Also, it doesn’t matter what school you go to, but if your parents don’t talk to you about condoms because of their religious views then you probably wouldn’t hear about them except through sex education.

    • SkepDad says:

      01:48pm | 04/08/10

      I point to my genitals, mutilated as a child along with those of millions of other Australian males, as evidence of why religion should be kept out of sex education. 

      Never mind the horrific religion-driven genital mutilation that goes on all around the world to this day, or the faith-based repression of women that is fundamental to many faiths, including the majors.

      There is nobody less qualified to influence the sexual education of children than the unmarried, (supposedly) virgin, paedophile-harbouring pope.  The hypocritical and misogynist mullahs are no better.

      We will only start to rid ourselves of the scourge of gender inequality when the medieval practices and attitudes of the world’s religions are recognised as such and excluded from secular, evidence-based humanist sex education.

    • Joe says:

      08:41am | 03/08/10

      I agree with the pimpernel. The last thing we need is extremists like Lundy pushing their agenda on our children.

    • Carter says:

      09:05am | 03/08/10

      @Joe, would you rather your children learned about sex (including what is and isn’t safe) in a controlled environment (such as a classroom) or an uncontrolled environment (like the bushes next to the school oval) where things can, and alarmingly often do, go wrong?

      Personally, I’d rather teenages learnt from both school, where their peers are, and then came home to discuss it openly BEFORE they try anything…

    • Tim says:

      09:40am | 03/08/10

      Yes Carter,
      those are the only two possible options aren’t they?
      Either your kids get taught about sex at school by teachers in a classroom who may be pushing social agendas you don’t agree with
      They will become dirty little perverts having sex in the bushes next to the school oval.

    • PaulB says:

      10:08am | 03/08/10

      Don’t know why you would worry about “extremists like Lundy pushing their agenda” when far worse influences are coming from “extremists” like music video makers whose outright pornography gets paraded before your children on primetime TV.  Have you sat with your child and tried explaining the Lady Gaga clip he or she just saw on Channel V in the middle of the day?

    • Ripa says:

      10:22am | 03/08/10

      @carter,  There is no need for sex ed at school, it is a parental responsibility and the last thing i want my children to hear is their teachers sexual experiences. ( are you insane??).
      You dont avoid “alarmingly uncontrolled sexual environments” ,
      by teaching sex ed in schools, you avoid those things by teaching
      your children to be confident, and strong willed.
      I dont want my children brainwashed by some nutter in the ed department who has an agenda, this same group also pushed for teachers to stop using the words, husband and wife, I cringe when i hear someone refer to their wife or husband as, their “partner”.

    • Carter says:

      12:04pm | 03/08/10

      @Tim, I’m by no means suggesting that those are the only two options going, I have no doubt that there are many responsible adults who enjoy healthy sex lives despite little to no education (either at school or at home)

      However, opening up a (pointless) taboo to greater discussion and debate also allows for teenages who are often more comfortable talking about their intimate lives with peers and teachers than with parents who they feel may judge or condem them can only be a good thing.

      I also don’t think that every teenager who has sex in the bushes is a ‘dirty little pervert’, please don’t put your words in my mouth. The comparison was safe sex practices and potential unsafe practices, not locations or labels for teenages who have sex.

    • Carter says:

      12:11pm | 03/08/10


      I absolutely agree that it is primarily a parental responsibility, however many parents are failing this test - as much from laziness and irresponsiblity as conservative values.

      I absolutely agree that children should be taught to be strong willed and confident - taught by example - but children should also be encouraged to thinik for themselves, discuss issues with peers and not be afraid to ‘think outside the square’, and if they are not comfortable doing this with parents, then they need another forum.

      I’m also offended that you think teachers are nutters. I’m not a teacher, but I have never experienced a ‘nutter’ in a teaching role - and certainly none that would be ina position to teach children sex education. All of the teachers who would be in such as position are normal, well-adjusted adults who are capable of removing emotion and personal experience from their classrooms and the topics they discuss - sadly a trait that is lacking in other forums, such as this one.

      I’m also offended by your apparent dislike of the term ‘partner.’ What, I wonder, is wrong with describing the person you are with/engaged to/married to as someone you have an equal relationship with? There are many ‘normal’ couples - if you can define ‘normal’ - in this world, who have ‘normal’ children, but are not married as husband and wife. These include de facto parents, divorced or seperated parents and same sex parents.

      We need, as a society, to be open to all of these ideas.

    • Ripa says:

      04:05am | 04/08/10

      @ Carter

      I am surrounded by teachers in my family, my wife is one,  and she works very hard, My criticism was aimed at the education department and the “nutters” that wanted to ban use of the words husband and wife, these same nutters that want teachers to share their sexual experiences.

      Yes We should all be taught to think outside the box, and teaching confidence and strong will promotes that. but dont reject good practices for the sake of something new, just because it is new, nor should we associate “new” as being better then something that has stood the test of time, or heaven forbid i use the word traditional.

      Im offended that you would prefer the term “defacto” to marriage, Im offended that you think being in a defacto relationship, is better. Im also offended that you would degrade my wife to a partnership. I call my wife, “my wife” because she is infinitely more then a “partner”.

      If you are divorced, or seperated, or same sex, ok? and? what?,
      people who are married should be banned from using wife and husband? schools should ban this? Is this what you refer to as “thinking outside the box”?

    • Carter says:

      08:40am | 04/08/10

      @Ripa, I’m not sure you’re actually reading my comments. So please read this one. Carefully.

      I never posted that I ‘prefer’ the term partner. I, personally, don’t prefer any term. I think the relationship I have with my beautiful girlfriend transends words, and as such it doesnt matter what noun I give her. It’s an individual’s choice and no word is any more or less appropriate to any one couple. People should be able to choose for themselves. You prefere ‘wife’, your wife prefers ‘husband’, many couples with equally loving relationships prefer ‘partner’. That doesn’t make their relationship any less legitimate or loving than yours just because you prefer a different name.

      I’m also not suggesting anyone ‘drop’ the term marriage in the education system, but the term marriage also isn’t applicable to everyone. Why should a child at school feel isolated because their parents aren’t married (either because they live in a de facto relationship, are divorced, one (or both) parents are deceased or they have same sex parents? ‘Partner’, however much your personally disagree with the term, covers all of these bases and ensures that a child who’s parents are not married under the marriage act doesn’t feel left out.

      I’m also not suggesting we ‘reject good practices for something new just because it is ‘new’‘. Re-read my earlier posts (including the ones not directly addressed to you. I suggest that a combination of parental and school-based sex education is appropriate, especially for teenages who don’t feel comfortable discussing sex with their parents, for whatever reason. Following your argument, why should we NOT think about new ways of doing things just because they’re new. You never know, they MAY be better than the old way of doing things. Believe it or not, 100 years ago sex simply wasn’t talked about at all. Then someone had this crazy ‘new’ idea to talk about it with their children and all of a sudden, everyone’s doing it…

      And before you bring it up, no I don’t have children. I am close enough to having children, however, to be making some informed decisions on how I would like my chilfren raised. I was once a child (shock) and received a very good education on sex from both my parents (early in life) and then at school (during my teen years). I have very approachable, understanding and easy-going parents, but even then I was not comfortable asking some questions of them and was comfortable asking questions in a classroom environment with a brilliant physical education teacher and a room full of people my own age who were experiencing similar issues.

      I suggest you re-read my post, and the other posts and detach yourself from this obviously emotive issue and look at the arguments being made. There is no suggestion that we ‘drop’ the term marriage - your argument - simply open up the possibility of complimentary learning where the concepts - such as sex - that are introduced by parents in the home are reinforced and discussed by teachers at school who let their students talk openly about issues affecting them and provide for greater education on a topic that is often awkward and confronting to teenages, especially around parents.

    • Ripa says:

      03:21pm | 04/08/10

      @ Carter

      *insert slightly insulting personal comment*, you read “teacher” when i stated ed department. You say All teachers are normal well adjusted? really where did you go to school?!,
      Anyway i think we agree about a lot of things,  however, you miss the point,  you talk about a child feeling isolated because their parents aren’t married, and you list, defacto, same sex, divorced, etc, so why should my child have to be silenced and refrain from using those words? Make no mistake the ed department, want to ban the use of those words.
      The point you are missing here is it is the exact same group that wants to remove using , husband and wife, from schools wants to teach our children about sex, they have an agenda. You talk about individuals choice, great, everyone is for that, except the ed department, and hypocritically you, you claim individual choice, then state why should a child feel isolated because their parents aren’t married. What exactly are you saying, you seem to be trying to be PC all over the place, yes were all for individuality, were all for education and openness and equality, and loving relationships, they are pretty basic fundamental ideas, but like so many things the devil is in the detail. Where would you draw the line on what is appropriate sex ed?

      By the way, you cant use the term “girlfriend” because people that dont have them are going to feel isolated.

    • Carter says:

      04:45pm | 04/08/10


      Fair enough about the teacher v ed department comment. I assumed that teachers had some form of independence in how they delivered the content prescribed to them by their departments. I had no idea that they had to blindly follow a script. I assumed that they could use their incredible intelligence (no sarcasm intended here) to gauge how best to deliver a curriculum to individual classes. Certainly that was my experience and I had no idea that it had changed so radically in the decade since I’ve been to school.

      I also back that the teachers I encountered (that’s what I actually said, I never used the word ‘all’) are well adjusted. I realise that there are many who aren’t, but the chances of these individuals teaching sex ed given that they are spread out across individual grades, subjects, departments and schools is remote enough to be statistically irrelevant.

      My assumption is akin to your assumption that these ‘nutters’ have an agenda. Unless you’ve been able to get your hands on their (I assume) Top Secret memo outlining exactly how they plan to corrupt our children, I think your agenda claim is a little baseless.

      I’ve also, repeatedly, said that sex ed in schools needs to be in COOPERATION with parents. If parents engage in open discussions with their children, open to new ideas and practices, all of these issues can be resolved - and if a parent doesn’t like what their child reports from class, they can always (shock) talk to the principle and resolve the situation like adults!

      If your child is indeed being silenced from using words like ‘marriage’ and ‘de facto’ then I agree, that’s wrong, but probably with the best of intentions. It’s a fact that the traditional married couple is a decreasing majority, and we as a society need to be more accepting of others. Unless teachers, and students, are forced to list off all the possible alternatives, partner is an adequate compromise that we probably shouldn’t get too hung up on. It’s just a word after all. That said, as I said before, personally I have no issue with marriage. Or de facto. Or any other word being used.

      You also mention the ed department. there are nine ed departments in this country, perhaps the one you’re talking about is a minority?

      I’m also not against individual choice, as I’ve written here and in almost all of my other posts. In fact, the gist of ALL of my posts is pro-individual choice. I’m not trying to be PC, but why should we hold onto old practices when clearly our society has shifted. Let’s be open to new ideas. New ideas, that can be expressed however the individual chooses.

      The line on sex ed is a difficult issue - and one that extends far beyond this comment, but as a guide the traditional ‘mechanics’ of sex, health and moral issues and any issues that young people face (such as texting, the younger age of people’s first experiences, etc).

      Oh, and I can use the term ‘girlfriend’ because it’s in relation to my personal circumstances and I was describing how I address the girl I’m with - just as you call the women your married to your wife. I was not attempting to project that idea onto others.

      But, I think you’re right and we actually agree on most. My argument to you is that we should be open to new ideas and providing forums for people (especially young people) to discuss issues relevant to them. If that’s in school as well as at home, so be it.

      There’s also no need for “slightly insulting personal comment(s)”. I haven’t dragged this conversation down to name calling, if you truly want an intellectual debate, keep the childish names out of this conversation.

    • Ray says:

      09:07am | 03/08/10

      I am not long out of public high school, and the majority of girls in our year have had children already, and are on to their second, or even third. I have just turned 21 so that is an alarming figure. We did not have enough education or assistance for these girls in real terms of sex = babies = life changing. While we are at it, could we make it less of a profitable exercise? Centrelink paying my single mother friends more than I get for working 40hours a week + free day care. You do the math…

    • Generation Y says:

      01:01pm | 03/08/10

      Could not agree with you more. I went to a distinguished private girl’s school in Ascot and I did not get one lesson about relationships and the damage they can cause to your life when it all goes wrong - regardless of how good I can read, do maths, complete post-grad study and hold down a good job - that can all fall apart with one stupid decision - and I’m sorry but that’s more than just male and female reproductive biology. I’m just really privileged to have parents who were good role-models and who taught me as much as they could - but I wonder about the kids that aren’t as privileged as me? If it’s not being taught in school or at home.. where are they learning it from? Isn’t that a scary thought…

    • Terri says:

      12:50pm | 04/08/10

      That is so sad that so much potential is squandered due tolack of education.  I was lucky enough to go to a Selective School and part of the curriculum in year 9 was having the Family Planning Clinic come in over two days to teach us abnout sex, birth control, consequences of our actions, knowledge of our bodies and reproductive cycle so we would be more aware if anything was wrong as well as general discussion on what we thought sex was, how we dealt with boys etc.  Taking it away from teachers and giving the course to a clinic encouraged very frank discussion.  In a class of 250 girls, only 2 were not allowed to take part due to their parents beliefs, one eventually ran away rather than be forced into an arranged marriage and the other one fell pregnant.  Of the class that did attend the course, none of us fell pregnant.  I think we need to have these discussions in all schools.

    • John says:

      04:28am | 05/08/10

      sex = pregnancy = abortion = problem solved, yay for math.

    • Jane says:

      09:13am | 03/08/10

      I have to admit that I’d prefer teachers to concentrate on academic education and parents to concentrate on values/morals/social education. How about education sessions for parents?

    • Andrew says:

      09:13am | 03/08/10

      With a teacher like Lumby, I think I will skip school!

    • Jolanda says:

      09:23am | 03/08/10

      So they will teach CHILDREN about sex in schools and then the CHILDREN (emphasis on the word children) will go to the sheds to practice what they have been taught and told is okay to do! 

      Don’t these adults realise that CHILDREN are too young to really understand the more psychological and emotional aspects of sex…..It is not just a physical act.  That is why more often than not CHILDREN are getting drunk and then having sex.

      Leave the actual sex education up to the families.  Many years ago children used to kiss and touch and that was ‘sex education’ now they don’t bother with any formalities it is all about sexual intercourse, as that is what they have been taught,  and other activities which in reality are not suitable for kids. 

      I know that my daughter was taught in a Public School at 14 how to put a condom on a banana?  They had to practice in class.  Is this really an appropriate thing to have children doing at school together with their peers? 

      One would have to ask whether sex education thus far has had any impact on sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy.  I think you would find that the answer is NO.

    • TheRealDave says:

      11:21am | 03/08/10

      @Jolanda, your argument makes no sense to me. You say on one hand kids are going out getting pissed and having sex….and then you say leave sex education up to the parents.

      Where exactly are they getting the idea to a) get drunk and b) have sex? I wasn’t aware there was a practical drunkeness course at schools nowadays? Children learn attitudes to drinking from their families, nto schools. So if they are getting unhealthy alcohol attitudes at home do you think home is the best SOLE place they should also get their sexual attitudes as well??

    • TJ says:

      11:37am | 03/08/10

      Plus kids are having sex in year 10 or even before, by the time they are in year 10 it is legal for them to have sex and with ‘experts’ preaching that the best time to have babies is late teens then guess what you get. once they turn 15 we can reasonably stop treating them like children and treating them like young adults who have their own mind and can make their own decisions regarding this issue.

    • AdamC says:

      11:38am | 03/08/10

      Jolanda, your point is valid. It reminds me of the fact that, in the last 40 years when everyone has been on a low-fat kick, we have had an obesity epidemic. I am not sure what the inicidence of teen pregnancy and STDs were pre-sex education, but I doubt they were any higher!

      In reality, the problem is not sex education (or lack of it) but a loss of social rules of behaviour and decorum. People are no longer willing to enforce or, in some cases, obey standards of behaviour. We therefore have a situation where schools have to teach 14 year-olds about safe sex, because nobody is telling them not to do it at all.

      I think there has to be some happy medium between the prudishness of traditional Westerm societies and their present hyper-permissiveness. We have definitely thrown the baby out on this one ...

    • Ajent says:

      02:22pm | 03/08/10

      here’s a thought. Kids will be kids. They get up to all sorts of trouble just because they are kids and are pushing the boundaries whenever they can. They are bombarded with information from everywhere. They know about sex from books, tv and movies. And they are getting out and doing it from younger and younger ages. Most of my peers had popped the cherry before their 15th birthday and that is over 10 years ago.

      But my peers - the ones who actually had some sex ed, who knew about safe sex and the use of contraceptives seem to have managed to least keep the birthrate down. The local catholic school which had no sex ed classes and actively preach both abstinence and the evils of contraceptives had 1/2 a dozen pregnancies every year.

      Today, you cant raise the argument of innocence, because kids just aren’t innocent any more. So what can you do? At least give them some basic information. Show them some graphic photos of what STD’s can do to you. Get a couple of teen mums in to talk about how it screwed up their lives. Kids will still get it on in the bushes and the sheds, but at least they’ll know why the little rubber hat is a godsend and hopefully be safe from the worst consequences of their actions.

    • Jacqui says:

      02:25pm | 03/08/10

      Actually Jolanda and Adam, you’re both quite incorrect.  Teen pregnancy rates were a good 50% higher in the 1950s than they are today, so teenagers were most certainly having sex regardless of whether it was spoken about in class. You just didn’t hear about it as much because the girls were whisked away into hiding and shamed into giving up their babies for adoption.

      So sad, and so avoidable with a bit of education.  As we’ve seen from the well-documented and dismal failure of abstinence only tactics in the US, proper sex education actually delays the onset of sexual activity in teenagers and results in fewer STIs and unwanted pregnancies because the participants have all the facts and understand how to mitigate the risks.

      Sexual drive and risk-taking activity is incredibly strong in teenagers so if you stick your fingers in your ears and say LALALALA they’ll still do what comes naturally, the only question is how safe it will be.  Pretending it doesn’t happen won’t stop it and may even encourage it.

    • BK says:

      03:09pm | 03/08/10

      Ajent, your post ignored the confounding variable of abortions. It is unclear whether the girls from the Catholic school were more likely to fall pregnant or whether they were just more likely to complete their pregnacy. No judgements should be implied, just making sure that we understand the issue.

    • AdamC says:

      04:23pm | 03/08/10

      Jacqui, where did you get that ridiuclous 50% higher stat from? Was it controlled for earlier marriage? I am always very sceptical about statistics which contradict common sense.

      I don’t actually have a problem with sex education and don’t favour abstinence only programs. What I would argue is that our current social mores encourage sexual activity among young people. I would favour a less ‘go get’em tiger’ approach to the issue. Merely stating ‘kids will do it anyway’ with increasing loudness, hands over ears, is an abrogation of responsibility, not a manifestation of enlightenment.

    • AdamC says:

      04:23pm | 03/08/10

      Jacqui, where did you get that ridiuclous 50% higher stat from? Was it controlled for earlier marriage? I am always very sceptical about statistics which contradict common sense.

      I don’t actually have a problem with sex education and don’t favour abstinence only programs. What I would argue is that our current social mores encourage sexual activity among young people. I would favour a less ‘go get’em tiger’ approach to the issue. Merely stating ‘kids will do it anyway’ with increasing loudness, hands over ears, is an abrogation of responsibility, not a manifestation of enlightenment.

    • Tim says:

      04:27pm | 03/08/10

      got some links for that statement?
      Are you talking about teen pregnancies or teen births?
      As BK says, abortions are quite prevalent among this age group as is accessing emergency contraception (after the fact).

    • Jacqui says:

      05:57pm | 03/08/10

      Sure, I’m having trouble finding the original article I got the 50% figure from but here’s another which supports my statement:

      “It is true to say that the teenage birth rate in Australia has dropped enormously over the last 30 years, down from 50.9 in 1970 to 20 per 1000 teenagers”

      I’m not sure there’s a compelling argument for controlling for marriage, keeping in mind that at the time it was a choice between hiding your pregnancy and giving the baby away, or having a shotgun wedding and being appropriately surprised at your ‘premature delivery’ seven or eight months later.  People may have subsequently gotten married but that doesn’t automatically negate the fact that they went against even stronger societal mores and had sex in the first place.

      And Tim - according to you’ll find that women aged 19 and under actually account for the lowest number of abortions by age bracket.  Couldn’t find whether the Guttmacher Institute’s study results from the US would apply in Australia, but they found that 61% of women who had abortions were already mothers, so it’s certainly not the ‘irresponsible teen’ thing that the media tend to portray.  If you’re interested, have a look at

    • Jolanda says:

      08:21pm | 03/08/10

      Here is the thing.  It isn’t just about abortions.  Sexually transmitted diseases have risen in alarming numbers amongst our young people.  Many of these diseases will later affect their ability to reproduce.  This will put a huge burdon on our Health System as they will want IVF.

      We need to teach our children about making good choices (explaining to them why)  and about doing what is morally and legally right.

    • tim says:

      09:03am | 04/08/10

      I wasn’t saying that young women made up the largest proportion of abortions, I was saying that abortions are far more prevalent now than they were fifty years ago.
      This has obviously assisted in the reduction in the rate of teenage births. There may not necessarily be a lower pregnancy rate.

    • David C says:

      09:25am | 03/08/10

      was that meant to be a serious article about a serious subject? If so then why ruin it with stupid idiotic jibes at Bolt?
      Obviously some inner citty in-joke that doesnt translate well out here in the suburbs

    • Danielle says:

      02:41pm | 03/08/10

      We suburbanites get a lot of flack. But some of us DO GET pop-culture. Speak for yourself please DavidC.

    • Daniel F says:

      10:49pm | 03/08/10

      Danielle, I think David’s gripe is against the journalist, not against the suburbs.  I agree with David - I couldn’t even see what point the author was trying to make thanks to the onslaught of really “clever” (read “stupid”), smug caffe-late leftist self-pleasuring.  A good journalist would put the point and the argument ahead of the self-promotion and posturing.  Clearly Ms Lumby is a politician at heart and just doing the journo line to pay the bills.

    • Dawson says:

      02:48pm | 04/08/10

      lol you can’t even spell city right.

      I don’t live in the city. In fact, I live in rural New South Wales. And I understand the “stupid idiotic jibes at Bolt”.

      Just a question - where was it that you were taught the word jibes, yet not taught how to spell city.

    • YoungWowser says:

      09:33am | 03/08/10

      Why can’t parents look after their kids’ sex education? They can set the agenda, and pass on the values they think are important. School-based sex education tries so hard not to offend, so it encourages kids to have open minds, and to explore - which is the last thing hormonal teens need to hear.

    • TJ says:

      12:06pm | 03/08/10

      what is wrong with having an open mind when it comes to sex?

    • Kate says:

      12:53pm | 03/08/10

      Unfortunately many parents either don’t bother or provide a very restricted sex education for their kids, whether it’s because of embarrassment or their own personal opinions.
      This means there are some uneducated kids out there whose main source of sex education is their friends, the internet or magazines if the school does not provide sex education.

      I’d rather have kids receive sex ed in school than to read myths on the internet or learn untrue things from friends that could lead to them having unsafe sex.

    • Cherub says:

      09:57am | 03/08/10

      Parents are the first educators of their own children but have no right to try and educate other people’s children without their parents’ permission.  The idea that the State is the fons et origo of moral values where sexual relationships are concerned is bonkers.  In the UK State sponsored sex ed and a raft of other matters meant to benefit children has lead to an increase in teen pregnancies, teen abortions,, and teen STIs.  State imposed sex ed gives te opportunity for the bien pensants to impose their morality on everybody.  The fact is, sex ed involves a moral context, and the social engineers, no doubt cheered on by Ms Lumby, will want to impose the values of the sexual revolution partly to validate their own screwed up lives.  Oh, and by the way Ms Lumby, enough with the lack of common courtesy (referring to Cardinal Pell as “George”).  And instead of assuming that your views are “rational sex education”, try proving it to the satisfaction of all and not just the ones you like to talk to.

    • xyz says:

      04:50pm | 03/08/10

      I think Ms Lumby was referring to Cardinal Pell as if he was a school student (i.e. a child) and she was his teacher… which means he wasn’t yet a priest, let alone a cardinal!

    • Duncan says:

      07:42pm | 03/08/10

      It’s Professor Lumby, chum, not Ms Lumby.

    • 6c legs says:

      09:58am | 03/08/10

      “Carter” @9.05. exactly.

      I would’ve liked to have been taught that “negotiating sex” was not just alright, but just plain correct.

    • Macca says:

      10:11am | 03/08/10

      Sexual Education comes from one place, and one place only; your Old Man’s 1970s Playboy collection

    • AFR says:

      11:06am | 03/08/10

      +1 - I think i took a lot of my real sex ed watching p0rn. Until I worked out that girls really do not like some of thre things the girls in the movies seemed to love smile

    • SimonP says:

      10:47am | 03/08/10

      So… “leave it to the parents”, you say.

      Teens are having sex, sending “sext” messages”, exchanging nude photos over the internet, putting themselves in danger of internet predators… oh, and having babies. This is a fact. To say otherwise is to live in denial. Where are the parents? Or, is this what parents are teaching these days?

      And, don’t say this is a new phenomenon, or degrading morals - I personally know a woman who had an abortion when she was 15yo… over 40 years ago. And, how many “premature” babies were born in those days to teenagers who got married in a rush? It’s just more obvious now.

      I think some parents would be amazed what their “children” (were YOU a “child” at 15 or 16?) are doing when they’re out of parents’ views…

    • Jolanda says:

      11:03am | 03/08/10

      Simon they are doing what they are taught in school.

    • Eleanor says:

      11:55am | 03/08/10

      I’m still relatively fresh out of highschool at 21 years old - so forgive me Jolanda if I’m out of touch, but I’m pretty certain there are no units taught on “sexting”.

    • TJ says:

      12:04pm | 03/08/10

      Peer pressure accounts more for those things than sex ed

    • Mary says:

      12:24pm | 03/08/10

      I didn’t learn how to have sex at school. I learnt about contraception, I learnt about the human body, how it works, pregnancy, puberty and all the changes it brings. I went to a catholic school so I was exposed to a lot of ‘right to life, abstinance’ type stuff, but at 16, I was able to form my own opinion about that kind of thing and how effective or ineffective I felt it was. I believe in a safe environment if teenagers want to discuss or ask questions about sex and sexual health, then it’s a good thing. There are some issues, questions etc that they won’t want to or feel comfortable asking their parents, however may be perfectly happy to ask of their teachers. I believe it’s important that people are proactive about these issues. We like to say that parents are in charge of teaching their children values and morals, but over the years it’s become plain that there is a serious lack of this going on in households and families.

      I agree, in the respect that children will learn some of these things at school - through their peers. I’d sooner have them also learning the facts about the important things, Contraception, No meaning No and sexual health, than just taking the words of their friends and whatever the hell they’re being exposed to outside of school, the media, internet etc.

    • SimonP says:

      12:39pm | 03/08/10

      Jolanda, I think that teenagers will have sex even if they don’t learn it in school.

      Did YOU have sex because someone taught you, or because YOU decided to?

      Also, how did you learn about sex? From your parents? At school? From the other ignorant girls behind the shelter-shed? Or from some stumbling young boy who had no idea what he was doing?

    • Jolanda says:

      08:17pm | 03/08/10

      Of course Simon teenagers will have sex even if they are not taught about it at school.  Lets be real here. 

      The problem is that children are very influenced by their environment and there is too much empasis being put on socialising and sex and not enough focus on other areas of development and that includes intellectual and psychological.

      Sex should be connected with a loving caring abode and with someone you love.  Not sex with a guy you know in the back of the car or toilet block because you have nowhere to go.

      We need to teach our children standards and self respect.

    • monkeytypist says:

      11:15am | 03/08/10

      Great piece but it probably bears mentioning that Cardinal Pell does not have a family as he is under a vow of celibacy, like all Catholic priests.

    • xyz says:

      04:41pm | 03/08/10

      Cardinal Pell does have a family… parents, siblings, aunties, cousins…

    • Mil says:

      11:17am | 03/08/10

      I agree. Our kids need all the ethical sex education they can get to counter the distorted, sexist and violent messages they’re being saturated in via pornography.

    • Macca says:

      11:54am | 03/08/10

      @MIl, so when teenage girls what Sex and the City, do you believe they think it is representative of real life?

    • James1 says:

      01:34pm | 03/08/10


      Only if they are particularly stupid teenage girls.  But then, I have seen adults raise the show 24 as a valid example in debates of terrorism and the utility of torture, so that level of stupidity would not surprise me.

    • TJ says:

      01:52pm | 03/08/10

      and besides, SATC is about adults doesn’t refer to teenage sex lol

    • Macca says:

      02:08pm | 03/08/10

      @TJ, and Porn doesn’t refer to teenagers.

      Simply making the point that many Gen-Y / Youtube Gen teenagers will be savy enough to recognise the difference between reality and fantasy, i.e. Sex Ed and Porn

    • confused says:

      10:53am | 04/08/10

      Macca - porn doesn’t refer to teenagers? how DOESN’T it refer to teenagers? Teen porn is a massive market, unfortunately appealing to men of all ages. Teenage boys may know the difference between what girls like and what they don’t like, but the problem is that they don’t care, an attitude that porn continues to reinforce.

    • stephen says:

      11:29am | 03/08/10

      I think teachers need it. ‘Leave us kids alone’.

    • TheRealDave says:

      11:30am | 03/08/10

      Modern Sexual Education and Health is a good thing. We don’t need to go into grpahic detail as long as young adults get ALL the facts and options. They don’t need an ‘Insert Part A’ into ‘Tab B’ kinda thing - they already know that by that age. Its more about sexual health, safe sex, options with teen pregnancy and long term consequences, contact numbers for public health advice lines, homosexuality organisations and all that. Stuff their parents would never talk to them about or stuff that their parents would be dead set ashamed/embarrased/forbidden religiously/etc to talk to their kids about.

    • Jenna says:

      11:46am | 03/08/10

      A standard sex ed class across Australia will never work! These classes are built upon the values and norms of people with facts thrown in! If we cant agree on a national history tandard how the heck are we gunna do sex ed??

      I have taught sex ed based topics in private schools (funny thing is state schools have been dominated with US organisations that are based on US needs not what Aussie kids want) & I can tell you that they know the facts they know the slang words for bits and pieces and they know the basics! What they dont know is how to have sex for them!! OOOOOOOOOOO how scary is that people!! Our girls do not know how to have sexual intercourse for their own physical and emotional needs!! Case in point… almost 30% of kids think its not sex if your having anal sex!! These kids are saturated by sex in the media and they dont know what to do with this information, they cant fit all these bits together and negotiate it for themselves! Everytime we brush off sex ed we reinforce the negitive information that our kids are seeing!! Think about the boys who laugh at the phrase “its not rape if you yell suprise” or NO means YES” they have this information (because everything we see turns into info) but they dont have the other side of the story and so their image of what is sex is distorted, log onto a chat & watch how people talk of sex, it is disgusting, we are teaching our kids nothing about sex that is positive and we are screwing up their future, in terms of the psychological distortions of self but pregnancy & STIs cause we are not allowed to tell them the basics that sex has consequense!! Its not politically correct anymore, but its pure biology not right winged propaganda people sex can equal pregnancy, sex can & does equal STIs!!

    • Chris says:

      11:47am | 03/08/10

      Im not sure we’ll ever be matrue enough for what you’re proposing! A shame though… Then again, the back of the school shed can be quite educational!

    • Eleanor says:

      12:03pm | 03/08/10

      I am a product of the public school system, and I felt our sex ed was pretty informative. It involved the various forms of contraception - yes, we did put condoms on bananas - and the biology of sex, conception, contraception and communicable sexual infections.

      However, I would like to see more of a focus on removing some of the stigma attached around sex - that is, explaining that yes, it is perfectly natural and normal to feel sexual urges and to experiment as a teenager, but to also explain the ramifications of becoming sexuall active - including pregnancy and contracting STIs. I think perhaps make watching a video of a vaginal birth part of the sex ed curriculum - that would be one of the best forms of contraception!

    • Danielle says:

      12:15pm | 03/08/10

      I think there should be basic knowledge taught (how to use a condom, how contraception works, what is legal, what is not, age of consent, where to get further information from, where to get contraceptives, STI’s etc.) but throughout history teens tend to figure it out for themselves, from friends, family, magazines hidden under mattresses and yes, experimentation. It’s how they learn. Perhaps some encouragement to make their own decisions and not bow to pressure from boyfriends/girlfriends, parents, churches or any special interest groups, and simply do what is natural to them within the law. If you want to stay a virgin until marriage, you do that! If you want a different partner every weekend, go for it, use protection! This could be very simple if common sense were used.

    • Peter says:

      12:36pm | 03/08/10

      I like the way sex-ed was covered in school in my day back in 1985. We talked about the basics, we talked about the “differences” in peoples sex lives and we pretty much left it at that.. I think kids can pretty much pick up the rest for themselves as they grow…

    • Aaron says:

      12:44pm | 03/08/10

      Actually, parents, this is your job to foster the correct attitude and values in your children.  Not the governments’ or the schools’.

    • Macca says:

      01:34pm | 03/08/10

      Here, Here

    • Cathy says:

      04:19pm | 03/08/10

      Yes… yes… yes…. stop expecting teachers to do everything.  Also, can we move beyond ‘sex’ and think about teaching our kids about how to ‘love’!!! Now that’s a radical thought!! : )

    • cj says:

      12:47pm | 03/08/10

      Are the comments here for real? Catherine suggests that sex education in schools might be a good idea, and people start ranting and raving about “agendas” and left / right wing politics and the influence of teachers unions and <insert your own personal / political prejudices here>... oh, and that old chestnut “if you teach kids about sex they’ll have (more) sex!” - which, of course, will cause the end of the world.

      It’s sex, people. That’s all. Get over it, get over yourselves, and start thinking more about the children and their actual needs instead of your own egos and need to control other people.

      Oh, and a few facts might not hurt either - if you can drag yourselves away from your self-righteous hysteria.

    • james says:

      02:39pm | 03/08/10

      Spot on. Funny how there are so many extreme views in these comments from both sides, yet the most sensible and enlightening of them all were actually written by current (or recently former) students themselves.

      Maybe we should be asking them what they feel they need to make better decisions, listening to them, and just giving unbiased answers?

    • Jezebel says:

      09:54pm | 03/08/10

      Well said cj. It seems there is an awfully vocal bunch who would prefer the creation of a society in which the only acceptable reason for sex is procreation.

      One of the most important developments of the “Sexual Revolution” was to transform people’s expectations about sexuality and sexual behavior. Whereas before sexual intimacy was expected to be limited to marriage (though it often wasn’t in practice), afterwards people began to expect such intimacy even in non-marital relationships. Sex has, thankfully,  become an expression of physical, emotional, and psychological intimacy in a variety of relationships, not just marriage. Being able to avoid some of the outcomes sex - especially pregnancy - has been a key factor making this development possible.

      Making it harder for people to avoid pregnancy would make it harder for people to engage in sexual activity—especially women—outside the boundaries of what the conservatives (read:sexually insecure)  deem morally licit. These people actually do want more women to get pregnant; most, however, seem to hope that the fear of pregnancy will induce more women to just say “no” to sex at all. In this way, pregnancy is definitely being treated like punishment not unlike fines or jail are a punishment designed to alter people’s behavior.  Furthermore, women would be less inclined to be able to draw upon positive experiences of sex and compare men’s performances.

      cj is right; it is about control. It also about sexual insecurity. Thankfully there are people like Lundy willing to stand up to a few energized crusaders hellbent on imposing their views on how we all ought to live.

    • Gomez12 says:

      12:52pm | 03/08/10


      “I have no doubt that there are many responsible adults who enjoy healthy sex lives despite little to no education (either at school or at home)”

      That wins my vote for the funniest thing I have read today!

      But on topic, Sex Ed = Doomed to failure.

      I doubt you’d get 10 rational people in this country to agree on what should be taught, and how. Throw in the various cultural groups, religions, nutters, parents, activists and experts and I doubt you’ll even get agreement on the meaning of the word “sex”.

      But if somehow we overcome that minor obstacle, it’s still doomed. Why? I hear you cry into the wilderness. I’ll tell you why - As the article states 50% of teens have already had some sort of sexual experience by the time you START teaching them about sex. And anything that 50% of students know about, 100% of students are talking about, looking at, thinking of and exploring. And they also know for a fact that whatever they are being taught, it’s not the whole story.

    • Mario G. says:

      01:15pm | 03/08/10

      I find it hard to believe we are still arguing over sex ed in schools. We had sex ed classes in a Catholic boys’ school when I was in Year 9 in 1974. (Hold the sniggers and innuendo, please). It was held as a Father & Son night (Mothers were also welcome to attend), and there was a doctor and teaching brother presenting.

      The information was not just clinical, and NOT restricted to Catholic dogma, and there was even a question/answer option to write down anonymous questions. It was a really positive evening that promoted discussion with parents.

    • MK says:

      03:57pm | 03/08/10

      I can see the benefit in that. It’s a shame they don’t do similar things now. It can be hard for teens to just come out and ask these sorts of questions of their parents.

    • TheRealDave says:

      04:25pm | 03/08/10

      LOL Mario, thats exactly what we had back at south side brisbane state school when I was in Grade 6..or was it Grade 5….back around 1984. We had a Father/Son night with a male teacher and a doctor…but my old man was in the Army and away on yet another Course so my mum had to come with me. She’s still, to this day some 26 years later, embarrased when I tell the story.

      They even put on some snacks and nibblies…no cocktail franks and sauce though…..

      Yet at my Catholic High School we never ANY sex ed classes. The closest we got was when I kicked out of class for guffawing when my Biology teacher was talking about his cat jumping up in his lap every night and ‘pricking at it to make it soft’ sense of humour some teachers….

    • xyz says:

      04:29pm | 03/08/10

      Mario, I’m interested to know what they told you about condoms and the pill?

    • Mario G. says:

      06:46pm | 03/08/10

      @XYZ. I actually don’t recall that detail. I’m certain that the use of condoms was raised, but that the primary birth control methods promoted were abstinence and the rythym (calendar-based) method. The pill definitely was NOT discussed, but that was the often case in general society at the time anyway.

      Later, my parents, both devout Maltese Catholics, were pragmatic enough to accept both the pill (for my sisters) and condoms as better alternatives to unwanted pregnancy, so these decisions were outside of the school’s jurisdiction; and rightly so.

      The best thing about the night is that we all knew most of the facts beforehand, but there were plenty of myths - especially in an all-boys school! The solid information sorted out fact from fiction. The doctor was a cool, 70’s type younger male, not afraid to discuss anything. Even the teaching brother was one of the younger ones at our school.

    • xyz says:

      08:24pm | 03/08/10

      Mario, thanks for your reply. We must be about the same age as I was also in Year 9 in 1974 (in QLD). I don’t recall any sex ed in primary school, and I vaguely remember in high school being shown a film called “The Reproduction of the Red Kangaroo”... as if that had any relevance! My mother told me nothing and my father gave us a clinical lecture way too early. You definitely had more sex ed than I did… maybe it was the state school system in Queensland back then. Now my son has had sex ed from mid primary school onwards and they discuss everything.

      I’m surprised the pill wasn’t discussed in 1974 because it was first introduced into Australia in 1961.

    • Mil says:

      01:41pm | 03/08/10

      @Macca. Wasn’t it you who said you got all the sex education you needed from your dad’s Playboy mags? The problem is porn has gone far beyond Playboy now - ‘sex’ in mainstream pornography is now depictions or actual acts (you never can tell) of rape, sexual violence, degradation, humiliation, torture, sexual mutilation, sexism, mysoginy, racism, pseudo child-sex ...

      As I said, if kids are learning about sexuality from porn - and there is evidence from various sources to suggest that they are, in much the same way that they are influenced by other cultural products - then they’re in need of all the ethical sex education that they can get. I fully support such a program with a strong focus on sexual ethics in addition to practical education, both in the home and in schools.

    • Tim says:

      02:18pm | 03/08/10

      Sorry Mil,
      but what porn are You watching?

      “sex’ in mainstream pornography is now depictions or actual acts (you never can tell) of rape, sexual violence, degradation, humiliation, torture, sexual mutilation, sexism, mysoginy, racism, pseudo child-sex ...”

      Are you serious?

    • Peter says:

      03:03pm | 03/08/10

      @ Tim, as fun and as facinating as porn can be, it is ultimately damaging to society and gives people a distorted view of reality.  We need to remove this rubbish from our shops and internet so the next generation aren’t poisoned by what they see..

      Also Tim, those things you quoted about the different types of porn, they are only a couple of clicks away on your computer… Anyone can see them, that’s why i support the internet filter.

    • BK says:

      03:16pm | 03/08/10

      If we are going to ban porn for being unrealistic and showing unhealthy relationships, we should ban Neighbours and Home and Away.

    • TJ says:

      03:37pm | 03/08/10

      Oh c’mon, porn is hilarious! all the girls make the exact same noises it’s super funny

    • Peter says:

      04:00pm | 03/08/10

      @ BK, except Neighbours and Home and Away don’t give you tips on how to violate people in manners they don’t wish to be.

      Sex is something that couples discuss and then act on or not. Giving 16 year olds ideas that i have witnessed on the internet myself, is just bloody dangerous… I couldn’t believe it was there..

    • C.D. says:

      04:23pm | 03/08/10

      Let’s lift our gaze and think above the waist!!  Our teenagers deserve educating in love and relationships not just about genital sex.  Pornography has created disconnected, selfish, unloving young men and women.  Perhaps it is why so many people can’t find a life partner.  When people learn the meaning of true love, sex finds its rightful place… as just one aspect of a loving relationship.  Time for some of the people writing here to grow up!

    • Markus says:

      10:35pm | 03/08/10

      Peter I think you truly underestimate your fellow human being, not just teenage kids.
      Just because that crap is there, does not mean that:
      a) they are watching it
      b) they suddenly think it is the normal way to act

      As Tim said, if that is what anyone thinks is ‘mainstream’ porn nowadays, that reflects much more on the person thinking that than it does society.

    • Peter says:

      09:45am | 04/08/10

      @ Markus. I just refer you to what CD just said…

    • TJ says:

      11:00am | 04/08/10

      @CD - what other kind of sex is there other than genital sex?

    • C.D. says:

      12:55pm | 04/08/10

      “Sexuality”  is more than the physical genital act of sexual intercourse.  Kids need to understand “sexuality” in the broader context of love, intimacy, vulnerability, sharing of life ... all the deep and meaningful stuff.  My complaint is that so many people see ‘sex education’ as needing to focus on the mechanics of ‘bonking’... and the negative consequences of sex.  Not much emphasis seems to be on the proper place of sex in the midst of a committed long term loving relationship (ideally marriage).  There is too much talk about ‘sex’ and not enough about ‘sexuality - as a beautiful dimension of the human person’... this is where I think Catholic schools do a much better job than public education.  At Catholic schools sex is talked about at much more profound level.

    • TJ says:

      04:03pm | 04/08/10

      @CD yes the church also says that gays and lesbians are going to hell, how will that help confused youngsters? not all of us dream of or can get married due to laws and religious outcry, there is nothing wrong with exploring your sexuality with bonking hehe

    • MJB says:

      03:36pm | 03/08/10

      Kids have been learning about sex behind the bike sheds since they invented bikes. Why spoil a perfectly good tradition

    • Xykon says:

      03:47pm | 03/08/10

      It worked for me.

    • The Red Sea says:

      04:05pm | 03/08/10

      I’m happy for schools to teach the basics of sex to my kids, but I don’t want them lecturing them on such things as love, relationships, religeon etc. Those things should be learnt ay home. I’m particularly concerned about schools teaching kids about religeon and morals in regard to sex. The % of our community who are active church-goers is quite low, yet much of school’s sex education teachings is based on religeous morals.

    • Evan says:

      04:05pm | 03/08/10

      Despite the sarcastic tone of this article, I think you miss the actual point of the whole thing. You make a comment about Gerorge Pell not being the only one with values, but fail to realise that sex education should be ABOUT values, which you have entirely missed throughout the article. It is VALUES that shape the correct way to approach sex and sexual maturity. This needn’t be based in religion per se, but should include common values that protect people and by extention society.

    • Mother and teacher says:

      04:13pm | 03/08/10

      If 50% of 15 year olds are sexually active, then 50% are not.  Imagine if you were sitting in a meeting and the people around you simply started talking about their previous sexual experiences, sex acts, sexual fantasies…. etc. . In any normal workplace this would be sexual harassment ... and nobody would have to put up with it… In a school some sex education classes students are subject to discussions that are not educational.  They are simply misguided.  My own children were taught - BY US - about sex at an early age, around 8 or 9 years old.  Parents have abrogated just about every responsibility these day to teachers (of which I am one) and this includes sex and relationship education.  Some of the stuff currently being suggested in sex education is pitched at the lowest common denominator kids… sexually active kids, kids into pornography etc.  It is unfair and I would say sexual abuse to subject the average, non-sexually active kids to the kind of trashy lewd stories of the few.  We are in a pornography-saturated era which is damaging our teenagers.  Sex education is important but it should not be inspired by this pornography mindset.

    • Jolanda says:

      07:37am | 04/08/10

      Totally agree with you Mother and Teacher.  For the 50% who are not sexually active having to sit through some of those discussion and lessons is truly uncomfortable and quite frankly something that they would rather not have to experience and at 15 shouldn’t have to experience.

    • Lisa says:

      05:01pm | 03/08/10

      The fact that sex is so personal means that a ‘one size fits all’ is not going to work for sexual education.
      I felt my own very ordinary country public high school covered the topics well enough in the early 80s.
      However, the issue of sex in the class room does not come anywhere near discussing sexual experience and its influence on the ‘bigger picture’  beyond orgasm.
      Sex is designed to facilitate the birth of a child, and the bonding of partners through sex is basically part of this design.
      Science is only just starting to examine the hormonal aspects of sexual activity, such as through the study of oxytocin (the bonding hormone).
      Sex is not simply a matter of finding someone willing to play.
      Long-term emotional well being is influenced by the sexual history of both yourself, and your partner.

    • ?? says:

      05:40pm | 03/08/10

      twenty six years ago my partner and I use to sneak off to his empty grandmothers house and get up to everything three times a week. we went to a strict catholic private school (boys across the road), and had no sex education. we didnt didnt have any prior knowledge on birth control, but we we’re too scared of getting me knocked up, and ruining our futures,  we’d use two condoms.  even today in our early forties, we’re still too scared of getting me knocked up.

    • Lauren says:

      05:45pm | 03/08/10

      Thank God for Dolly Doctor ey?

    • DD Ball says:

      08:35pm | 03/08/10

      The joke is on you if you think teachers talking to students will stop them having sex. Why do you want to sideline those parents who have a healthy relationship with their kids? How much must society bend to meet the needs of the worst parents because they are the lowest common denominator? Kids do not learn better from strangers.

    • Danny says:

      08:45pm | 03/08/10

      OK - we already have had sex education in schools for decades.  Results - STI’s are the highest ever, unwanted pregnancies (abortions) are the highest ever etc, etc.  So sex education is either ineffective or teaches kids how to do it.

    • Zac says:

      09:54pm | 03/08/10

      Excellent. Today we’re going to learn about why it’s impossible to introduce a rational sex education curriculum into our 21st century schooling system.>>>

      What is your definition of “rational sex education”? Can you list reasons and proofs why sex is purely rational? Who decides what is rational sex - education and what is not? Leftist teachers union, secularists, Atheists?

      >>>The next thing you know we’ll be opening the door to discussions about gay and lesbian teenagers and why they’ve been made completely invisible in the standard ‘here’s how you make babies’ personal development curriculum. And that would clearly upset our more homophobic commentators.>>>

      We don’t want our kids to be taught 2 mums and 2 dads are ok. That is not presonal development, that is brainwashing. If that to you is homophobic so be it. I’ll be more than happy, yes thrilled to carry such a badge, at least that saves our kids from being brainwashed and socially engineered by people like you.

      >>>Excuse me George Pell. What’s that you’re mumbling under your breath? What about morality you say? Well of course a decent sex education program should include a discussion about values, including the potential value of abstinence. You’re not the only one in the room with a family or with values George.>>>

      So what are the values of the left, secularists and the Atheists? And what is the basis of such morality? Big bang? Omnipotent chance? Darwinism?
      Thanks for bringing up the topic of ethics, though, because clearly sex education should encourage young people to think about what’s at stake in just standing by while someone else is being mistreated or even sexually assaulted.>>>

      Again I question the basis of such sex education. You are fooling your readers to think that some sex education will fix mistreatment and sexual assaults. Well, the so called footy stars have been educated how treat opposite sex for ages. Has that changed anything? How do you expect a society that treats it’s female population as sex to change? Flaunting is darwinian. So when women walk around sexed up, all they are doing is subscribing to the darwinian ideology. In the darwinian world we all are animals. So people behave like animals why are you surprised. Catharine sex education will not solve social issues becuase such education is based on darwinian values. Let me give you an example why that is the case:

      “I can show that from a Darwinian point of view there is more Darwinian advantage to a male in being promiscuous and a female being faithful, without saying that I therefore think human males are justified in being promiscuous and cheating on their wives. There is no logical connection between what is and what ought. . . .”

      Ref: Dawkins, Frank Miele, ‘Darwin’s Dangerous disciple – An Interview with Richard Dawkins’, The Skeptic vol. 3, no. 4, 1995.

      That’s enough for today though because clearly the idea that our education system would introduce uniform, relevant and engaging sex education is a fantasy.>>>

      Who should introduce this Catharine? Leftist education union? Secularists? Atheists? And based whose values?  Do you under why we will oppose such moves to our last breaths. We don’t our kids to be brainwashed. The above listed ideologists. Full STOP.

    • Brendo says:

      12:54am | 04/08/10

      I’m a recent high school leaver myself.  I was taught about sex at a young age about 10ish.  Just the basics, my parents were open and honest with me.  At about 13 I saw my first porn mag, wow, what a great surprise.  NOT.  At 14 I found my first internet porn site, again, no surprise.  I had sex for the first time at 14, I’d also experimented with both females and males.  You people think your kids are so innocent and have never even thought of looking at this stuff or doing this, boy are you wrong.  It’s bloody programmed into you.  It’s okay and healthy to experiment with sex, all types of sex. 
      I am completely against any and all types of religious teachings in schools, especially pertaining to sex and sexuality ed.  It has no place whatsoever in it.
      I fully support sex ed in schools.  Educating on both the mechanics of hetero and homo sex, contraception, no means no, what constitutes rape and sexual abuse, the consequences of sex, pregnancy, STI’x and if you have proper consent. 
      But it should also educate on sexuality, not just sex.  Teach that it IS OKAY to be gay, that it is perfectly normal.  It is not a choice you have but rather you are born like it.  I know alot of people who would have benefited from sex ed like this.  A segment should also be made for people to ask all and any types of questions pertaining to sex and sexuality and anonymously if they so wish. 
      There is too much hate against gays in high schools.  It needs to be stopped and this is a stepping stone for that to happen. 
      Yes I am a Bisexual teen.  I copped alot of flack for it.  I don’t think anyone else should ever have to go through that and sex ed like this will help those who are like me, and also help those hetero kids understand that we are normal just like they are.

    • Dawson says:

      02:54pm | 04/08/10

      Major thumbs up. Agree 100%

    • Jas says:

      07:17am | 04/08/10

      Reading, Writing, language and Numeracy as well as Learning to learn are all skills and competencies that belong to the Australian Core Skills Framework - a National Frammework. These are, in the main, processes as opposed to content. While sex and sex education have aspects of processes in the act, so to speak, they are if taught/discussed in the classroom, content in that context. So they can be taught together.

      But who the hell interpreted that teachers and teachers’ unions are in favour of sex education in the classroom. This is the domain of parents.! Perhaps if they did their parenting then teachers would not be constatnly being asked to “cover” for them!

    • Carrie Miller says:

      07:22am | 04/08/10

      But what about the kiddies? I bet that Lumby is one of those inner-city elitists who supported that pornographic filth by so-called ‘artist’ Bill Henson.

    • Zac says:

      09:48am | 04/08/10


      I fully agree with your comment. However I’ll have to question the foundations of your belief/view that the art works of Bill Henson is “pornographic filth”. You being a militantly Atheistic person, can you tell us how and why belief in nothingness or chance or darwinism would lead to good or healthy moral conclusions? You should also demonstrate the fact that your Atheistic belief system can differentiate between good and bad.

      Here is some food for thought Carrie, and may also assist you in answering my questions.

      “If somebody used my views to justify a completely self-centred lifestyle, which involved trampling all over other people in any way they chose. . . I think I would be fairly hard put to it to argue on purely intellectual grounds.  . . I couldn’t, ultimately, argue intellectually against somebody who did something I found obnoxious.  I think I could finally only say, “Well, in this society you can’t get away with it” and call the police.”

      Ref: Dawkins, ‘Nick Pollard talks to Dr. Richard Dawkins’, Thirdway, April 1995, vol 18, no 3,

      Thats right Carrie, in this Christian society people like Bill Henson cannot get away with filth, by defining it as art. So thank Christ for Christianity.

    • PD says:

      07:58am | 04/08/10

      Having had to teach the SHARE curriculum, you don’t want your kids in it. And you don’t want your kids around other kids in it. Since Sex Ed hit the classrooms we’ve seen ever increasing numbers of sexually active children, and massive rise in teen pregnancies, and then a rise in “other” sexual practises amongst teens, because they’re told it ok and taught how to do it.

    • Vivian says:

      10:43am | 04/08/10

      In my day it was behind the shed, not in it

    • MC says:

      10:57am | 04/08/10

      Having had one child go through Public and two through a local private Christian School. I found thatthe ones who received the most balanced and thorough conversation( mmm yes a conversation) about sex was the local christian school.

      My children both boys came away with a better understanding of sex both pros’ and cons.

      They were never told that sex before marriage is a sin and evil( sorry for those on the left) and that Homosexuality is a vaild sexual choice( sorry to those on the right)

      They were taught their responobility when it comes to contraception and the concequences of Sexually Transmitted desease and unplanned pregnacy of unprotected sex.

      They were encouraged to discuss the concept purpose etc of a sexual relationship.

      During their discussions they were encouraged to think that male is the responsible one, that coercion manipulation ect where never to be used to gain sexual gratification and that Girls are not a sex object.

      The girls the same.

      Unfortunately the other childs education was the standard line the rights without the responsibiliy and now the responsibility is upon them.

      we as parents also sat with them as a family with no holds barred and discussed our views on sex and developed if you like a family view of it which what we hoped was the rights and responibilities, but because a teacher said it is ok to partake its ok to partake. Becuase what would parents know.

      I am dismayed at the level of disagreement when it comes to this debate its all or nothing, Its either left wing liberalism complaining that the right wing and that offencive term ” happy clappers” . or the legalistic part of the so called right wing complaining that any sex education will decay the minds of young people.
      Sex is sex, it has a far higher purpose than what seems to be expressed here.
      Both sides wish to use the extremes of the argument to prove their point.
      Which never seems to settle anything except entrench what people already believe.

      Both sides have a point We do have the right to sex as the left states and we chose how to partake its our choice, however the inceased sexualisation of people as a whole does not seem to be bringing in the freedom that the left seems to crave.

      Surely we are intelligent enough to have a conversation about thsi without the simplistic childlike name calling and vitriol that seems to take place everytime it is mentioned.

      I am really getting tired of the simplistic views put by both sides,

      I am sure the truth is out there and once known it will likely set both sides free of the hangups that control them.


      ps My typing could use some help

    • Mark says:

      11:32am | 04/08/10

      Well, I had the misfortune of private catholic school from the ages of 7-18 and was not even allowed to meet girls and now as a 40 year old you would have a hard time finding a more meaningless life than mine.
      Sex education, yeah, thats a good idea no matter whos toes get stepped on.

    • Catholic mama says:

      12:49pm | 04/08/10

      Mark .... I don’t think you can blame your ‘meaningless’ life on your Catholic education.  Time to move on!  I’m sure there’s someone out there for you : )

    • Manson says:

      12:16pm | 04/08/10

      I agree that sex education should happen, however teachers and other students do not need to talk about their experiences. It will annoy those students who haven’t had sex or even cause them to rush into something they are not ready to do neglecting all the risks and will end up regretting it later in life.

      It would be far more efficient if they talked about STDS and show graphical images, and got a few teen mothers, who’s boyfriends said they loved them to trick them into sex and ended up knocked up and single.

      In general teach them they need to be responsible and not rush into stupid decisions that will alter their lives forever.

    • PatC says:

      12:53pm | 04/08/10

      My first sexual encounter with my current partner of 30 years was, funnily enough,  in a shed. Damn sight more exciting than anything that happened in the classroom. Except perhaps for that volcano experiment in year 6…

    • Davido says:

      09:48pm | 09/08/10

      Happy to outsource this job.


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