Sex education awareness: Parents’ voices are irreplaceable

The vast, often dark and uncontrollable internet is just one of the many issues facing parents determined to protect and educate their children.

Sex education awareness: Parents’ voices are irreplaceable

The vast, often dark and uncontrollable internet is just one of the many issues facing parents determined to protect and educate their children.

Its capacity to influence or mislead unformed minds is limitless. So are the fears it engenders and so are the efforts to better control it. How successful they might be is a matter of optimistic conjecture.

Those real concerns stand in contrast to the finding that more than one-in-three parents do not know what their children are being taught in school sex education programmes.

This disconnect came to light as Education Minister Richard Bruton announced a review of relationship and sexuality education in primary and second-level schools. The revised programme will focus on consent, contraception and improved communications with parents.

As events of recent weeks showed there are many ideas around contemporary sexual mores and not all of them fit into what might be described as a traditional format where participants show mutual respect for each other.

It is not hard to have some sympathy for schools on this issue; teachers cannot be expected to have a positive impact

if they lessons they offer are not reinforced in the pupils’ homes.

Without the reaffirmation of parents, the best sex education programme ever devised will fall short of what is required.

This seems an area where parents must work with schools to avert life-defining difficulties.

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