Lessons from The UK

Seems that maybe   our British cousins are  not be as stodgy as we are led to believe. There is a new pamphlet published by the British National Health Service( this is all true, mind you and remember truth is stranger than fact) entitled “Pleasure.” Of course, no teen will ever see it say government officials because the booklet is designed for use by teachers. OK.

Steve Slack is the Director of the Center for HIV and Sexual Health in Sheffield, England and one of the those who produced the booklet. ( Sheffield is an industrial city of some 500K + people about 4 hours from London. There is no truth to the rumor that all British teenagers are trying to move there) He says that a main goal of the book is to help teens delay the onset of sexual activity until they are emotionally ready.

A couple of comments from those that both agree and disagree with the pamphlet’s approach. Ruby Smith is  the news editor of  Children and Young People Now Magazine. She  adds that another goal  is to  give young people skills to deal with the pressures they are  are facing in this area.  Further it is saying if you do, do it, wait until you are ready  and then enjoy it. So she says, adding that it is not a  license to have sex. News flash, license not necessary.

Now, a perspective from the other side of the coin. Anthony Seldon is headmaster of Wellington College, a school for teens. He does admit that some of the publication makes good sense. However, he added,  he thinks it is wrong to tell 16 year olds  that they should wantonly enter the area  of intimacy just for pleasure’s sake. ” I think it is medically and  emotionally wrong  and will increase teenage pregnancy and impact negatively on  the formation of a  long term loving  relationship.” He wants greater emphasis placed  on the value of long term relationships. I applaud that thought  on his part but think that he is probably in a minority. Not a lot of prominent examples of  his perspective  these days.

This publication is produced in a country that already has a high rate of teenage pregnancy and  sexually transmitted diseases. Is it designed to help in those areas, doesn’t seem so. But time will no doubt tell us.


July 14, 2009 Posted by | Family, Health | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment