Media Release 7 February 2019
A third of parents have expressed support for children only being given sex education at schools if the parents specifically ‘opt in’ to the programme. Currently, parents have to notify schools if they want their children excluded, but many families have complained that they have not been aware of the programmes taking place until after it has been presented, and have been concerned by its content.
In the independent poll of 1,000 New Zealanders by Curia Market Research, respondents were asked: “Some schools teach sex education. Would you prefer that the law be that this is to be taught to children unless their parents opt out, or that it only be taught to children whose parents opt in?”
34% said they wanted parents to “opt in”, just over half of respondents were happy with the status quo, and 11% were unsure or refused to say. Those in low socio-economic areas were almost evenly split on whether parents should be able to opt in or out.
This poll follows on from a poll in 2016 that found that almost four out of five parents are confident of their ability to teach their own children about sex and sexuality issues, and 2/3’rds believe that parents should be dictating any school-based teaching, not the government or groups such as Family Planning and Rainbow Youth.
“Parents have rightly been horrified at groups coming in to schools and undermining the role and values of families with sex education resources targeted at children as young as five which fail to take into account the emotional and physical development of each child and the values of the family. We believe that the number of parents wanting the right to opt-in will actually be much bigger when offered the opportunity,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“There seems to be a basic and ironic assumption that parents know nothing about sex and that only groups like Family Planning and Rainbow Youth do. This is a myth and is rejected by Kiwi parents – and it seems that an increasing number of parents are wanting a default setting of not having sex education for their children.”
“The state is promoting a curriculum where children are indoctrinated on ‘gender identity’ ideology and the harms of gender stereotypes, and given dangerous messages that they’re sexual from birth, that the proper time for sexual activity is when they feel ready, and that they have rights to pleasure, birth control, and abortion. Most schools, along with parents in that school community, are rejecting the extreme elements of the new sexuality education guidelines released at the end of 2015.”
“Studies show that the biggest protective factors for coping with puberty and sexual involvement are married parents, family values, parental supervision, and parental expectations for behaviour. What happens at home is the greatest determinant of the outcomes for the young person.”
Family First released a report in 2013 “R18: Sexuality Education in New Zealand – A Critical Review” by US psychiatrist Dr Miriam Grossman which warned that the sex education resources fail to tell the full facts and compromise the concerns and wishes of parents, and the safety of young people.
The nationwide poll was carried out during December and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.