Letter to the Editor: Lessons not learned from failures of sex education

Letter to the Editor: Lessons not learned from failures of sex education

A few decades ago, medical doctor and author John Bradshaw delivered an RTÉ Thomas Davis lecture as part of a series on morality and the law.

While proclaiming himself to be a supporter of what might be called the liberal agenda, he also made the point that it would be disingenuous of him as a doctor not to mention “the effects in Britain and America of the unqualified application to their laws of just such a liberal view in the matters of contraception and abortion”.

Apart from abortions carried out, these effects included increases in rates of syphilis and gonorrhoea, and a dramatic increase in deaths from cancer of the neck of the womb among young women in the UK.

According to Dr Bradshaw:

One element, though not an invariable element in the causation of such cancer, is an early start to sexual activity and a multiplicity of sexual partners.

Almost four decades on, and with abortion introduced here as a means of eliminating unwanted pregnancy, the country has also seen the human and financial cost of what is termed the sexual revolution.

Yet reading the article ‘The lifesaving power of sex education to safeguard the young’, (Irish Examiner, September 6) it looks as if the repitition of failed remedies is somehow expected to yield different results to those already and consistently experienced.

When 12-year-olds are being given vaccines to counteract sexually transmitted diseases, it might be time to wake up and smell the decay. John Bradshaw hoped the Irish might look overseas and form the view “We have seen the future and it does not work”. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.

Rory O’Donovan

Killeens

Co Cork

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