Under new Government plans, children from the age of 11 are to be taught about sexual consent in England. But do you think this should be introduced in Wales?
The current legal framework in Wales means sex and relationships’ education is a compulsory part of the basic curriculum in all secondary schools.
This current curriculum focuses on how social and cultural influences can affect sexual behaviour – parents, peer pressure, the media, alcohol and drug use.
The current syllabus focuses broadly on:
- Names for parts of the body.
- Appropriate/inappropriate touching.
- Online safety.
- Social influences.
- Prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
- Sexual orientation.
- Sexual exploitation.
Despite educating children about inappropriate touching and sexual exploitation, the syllabus does not directly address the issue of consent.
In their most recent study, Health Behaviour in School-aged Children, showed that Wales had one of the highest proportions of 15-year-olds having sexual intercourse.
Although teenage conception rates are the lowest they have been in 46 years, they continue to remain high in Wales. According to the most recent Government figures in 2012, 28 girls under the age of 16, 198 under 18 and 529 under the age of 20 in Cardiff gave birth.
Since 2010, there has also been a general increase in the number of diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections in Wales and in 2012 the percentage of individuals diagnosed with gonorrhoea was notably high in those living in Caerphilly, Torfaen and Cardiff.
Data from clinics across Wales indicate that the majority of individuals diagnosed with gonorrhoea in 2012 were white and aged 15-24.
The new plans to introduce sexual consent education in England are being drawn up by the Personal, Social and Health Education Association who oversee the current teaching of PSHE at schools.
Although the PSHE Association said it was pleased with the Government’s attention to the plan, it expressed concerns over the fact such lessons were not included as a standard part of curriculum.
UK Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan told Sky News learning about “issues around consent, when consent is given, when it is not given, when something goes way beyond the boundaries [and] who do you report to” is important.
What do you think? Should this new form of sexual education be introduced in Wales? Vote in our poll.