Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Be Prepared - take a condom!

Where did you learn about sex? If you're of a certain age, probably from an embarrassed parent... a giggling friend... or round the back of the bike sheds. Today's youngsters, on the other hand, are much more likely to get their facts about the birds and the bees attending a Girl Guide Jamboree.

Today's report that Girl Guides (as they used to be called) are scrapping their goody-goody image and demanding lessons on safe sex comes hot on the heels of July's survey from the British Youth Parliament suggesting that young people are campaigning for better sex education.

Now tthis is probably raising hackles in middle England, with worried parents seeing this as proof that the yoof of today is more debauched than ever before. I beg to differ.

I grew up in the Sixties, when we believed, to paraphrase Philip Larkin, that sex had just been invented. We acted accordingly. But we acted with very little responsibility, no awareness whatsoever of sexually transmitted infection, and a total presupposition that if you didn't want sex you were weird. The pressure from the lads to make a girl 'put out' would horrify today's confident young women. The irresponsibility of the girls to put out without contraception would horrify today's young men.

Yes, of course we live in a more sexualised society today than in the past. That's not down to teens however, who take their lead from the adults around them and the media which is controlled by said adults.

No, in my opinion, teens today are far more aware, sensible and responible than we ever were - and the proof of that pudding is in their asking for more sex education, to help them cope with a more sexualised society. Good on the Guides, I say, for following up on their motto...