No sex education please, we’re British!
Tory MP and devout Christian Philip Davies, above, has blamed ‘sex education fanatics’ for a rise in unwanted pregnancies in the UK since the 1970s
Less sex education, or even better, none.
Davies, a strong opponent of gay marriage, delivered his “no sex education please” demand during a debate introducing the Sex and Relationships Education (Curriculum) Bill to Parliament.
Responding to a speech by Labour MP Diana Johnson, introducing a Private Member’s Bill to make provision to include education about sex and relationships, resilience against bullying and sexual abuse and ending violence against women and girls in the national curriculum, Davies said:
My job as a parent is to bring up my children with my values and the values I think are important to instil in them.
Mr Davies argued that the responsibility for educating children about sex and relationships lay solely with parents, and called for the education system to have no role in educating children about sex. In 2008, Davies was quoted as saying that Italy, despite having “almost no sex education in its schools”, had an even lower rate of teenage pregnancies than Holland.
Johnson cited figures from a Mumsnet survey, in which 92 percent of respondents wanted sex education to be compulsory in secondary schools and just under 70 percent wanted compulsory sex and relationship education in primary schools. A YouGov poll last year found similar levels of public support, with 86 percent agreeing that sex and relationships education “which addresses sexual consent and respectful relationships” should be compulsory in secondary schools.
Davies also objected to calls for “better sex education”, instead urging re-evaluation of the “benefit system and the housing allocation system” to “tackle issues such as teenage pregnancies”.
In 2012 an Ofsted report found that PSHE education was inadequate or required improvement in 40 percent of English schools.
During the debate Johnson referenced historic sex abuse in Rotherham and Rochdale, and quoted from the Jay Report which found that young people:
In the course of the Inquiry were scathing about the sex education they received at school.
Davies also discussed the grooming and child sex abuse scandal in Rotherham, but argued for an “anti-political correctness Bill” to prevent such abuse from recurring.
In 2012 Ofsted found that:
Where sex and relationships education is weak, pupils are left vulnerable to inappropriate sexual behaviours and exploitation.
The National Secular Society says it is committed to statutory sex and relationship education for all children as a fundamental human right.
Stephen Evans, NSS campaigns manager, said:
Statutory SRE is about having an education policy based on evidence, and the evidence clearly shows that teaching children about sex and relationships in an age-appropriate manner reduces levels of teenage pregnancy and encourages a healthier, more knowledgeable and sexually autonomous younger generation.
In her speech, Diana Johnson argued:
We want parents and families to be part of the discussions with youngsters about relationships and keeping safe, but we cannot stand back and hope that all families will have those conversations.
Johnson, who was Minister for Schools under the last Labour Government, went on to say that:
We know that it is often the most vulnerable children who do not have family support in this area.
Davies was earlier quoted as saying that he agreed with Nigel Farage about “virtually everything”, though he appeared to go further than UKIP on this issue. Whilst UKIP want to “scrap sex and relationship education for children under 11”, Mr Davies explicitly called for all sex and relationship education to be removed from the curriculum entirely and for it to be taught solely by parents.
The Sex and Relationships (Curriculum) Bill was introduced to Parliament on 21 October 2014 under the Ten Minute Rule. It will now face a second reading in the Commons on Friday 21 November.
Earlier this week, Davies had a “screaming row” with Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow, above, during a tour of the channel’s studios. He had earlier accused Snow of being “left wing”.
When Snow and Davies came face to face, the obnoxious Shipley MP accused Snow of being “too left wing”, said he was “past it” and suggested that the 67-year-old – one of the best known faces on UK TV – should retire.
Davies denied reports in the Guardian and Daily Mail that Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Snow’s co-presenter asked him to leave the building.