Parents must talk to their kids about sex, says minister

Teenage pregnancy is in the news again. Just as the furore started to die down over these sisters, aged 12, 14 and 16, who all gave birth within a couple of years of each other, the new children and families minister, Beverly Hughes, has warned that the Government will not meet its target of halving teenage pregnancies by 2010 if parents do not help.

She has called for parents to talk openly with their children about sex, as more and more evidence has piled up showing that sex education and discussion with parents is the best way to get teenagers to defer their first sexual experiences, and use contraception.

It seems parents do understand that discussing sex with their kids is important – in 2001, a whopping 85% said they thought there would be fewer teenage pregnancies if parents talked more openly with their children about sex, relationships and contraception.

But in 2003, another survey found that half of young people said they received little or no information on these issues from their parents.

Meanwhile, the latest sex education gimmick involves using TV plot lines to teach kids about relationships.

Worryingly, one of the examples quoted in the BBC involves a false rape claim story on Grange Hill. Surely sex eduation lessons should not be re-inforcing the myth that the vast majority of rape claims are false.