Sex education in spotlight

Hawkes Bay Today 26 June 2013
Hawke’s Bay principals are reviewing a controversial new report claiming sex education in schools promotes sexual behaviour among young people. The report was commissioned by conservative lobby group Family First and written by United States psychiatrist Dr Miriam Grossman. The report – R18: Sexuality Education in New Zealand – A Critical Review- analysed various sex education resources and has been sent to every New Zealand intermediate and secondary school.

It found sex education resources recommended to adolescents were “seriously flawed” and claimed the overall message to young people was that sex was okay as long as you used a condom. Napier Intermediate principal Wendy Gray said while she hadn’t fully reviewed the report, it contained some “quite hard hitting statements”. “Basically, we don’t teach sexuality education, we teach pubertal change, which is about what’s actually happening to adolescents’ bodies. We don’t take it any further than that.”

….The report’s release follows publicity last week about an 11-year-old Auckland boy who fathered a child after having sex with his best friend’s 36-year-old mother. Hawke’s Bay Secondary School Association president and Napier Girls’ High School principal Mary Nixon refused to comment and said the report had nothing to do with school curriculum. (She obviously hasn’t read the report)

Napier’s Sacred Heart College principal Steve Bryan and William Colenso College principal Daniel Murfitt both said they had not had a chance to read the report. Meanwhile, Taradale High School principal Stephen Hensman, Napier Boys’ High School principal Ross Brown all declined to comment on the report. Central Hawke’s Bay College principal Lance Christiansen and Wairoa College principal Brian Simpson could not be reached for comment. Hawke’s Bay ranked third in New Zealand for cases of chlamydia per 100,000 residents in the latest report for the Ministry of Health.