12 April 2007

Time For Change?

Ofsted's latest report, Time for change? Personal, social and health education, maintains:

There is no evidence that ‘abstinence-only’ education reduces teenage pregnancy or improves sexual health. There is also no evidence to support claims that teaching about contraception leads to increased sexual activity. Research suggests that education and strategies that promote abstinence but withhold information about contraception can place young people at a higher risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
What the report fails to mention is that the Government's £138 million Teenage Pregnancy Strategy, which includes making morning-after pills available to teenagers, has failed to stem the rise in teenage pregnancies, has had no effect on conception or abortion rates and, most damning of all, has been blamed for fuelling record levels of STIs. As reported earlier this year, latest figures for the rate of underage pregnancies showed the biggest single annual increase in ten years and areas that have promoted the government's strategy most heavily have experienced the biggest increases.

In today's "best of the blogosphere," Archbishop Cranmer notes that "the UK has the highest teenage birth rates in Western Europe - twice as high as in Germany, three times as high as in France and six times as high as in the Netherlands" and concludes:
"Cranmer simply wants to know why sex education has been divorced from talk of marriage and love. He wants to know what is wrong with promoting sexual abstinence and traditional family values. And he wants to know why the spiritual side of the sexual act, so eloquently communicated in Scripture, and pervasive throughout the New Testament, is not talked of at all."
We asked for a response from the government but no spokesman was available to comment...