Make all sex education in the UK carry full and comprehensive warning of the health risks attaching to non-monogamous sex
We call for it be made mandatory for all sex education delivered in UK schools to contain full and comprehensive information of the health risks attaching to non-monogamous sex.
STIs amongst teenagers have reached epidemic proportions, and, according to experts, we are fast approaching a sexual health crisis. Currently there are 27 identifiable STIs in the UK. Not all of these are treatable, and some are becoming increasingly antibiotic resistant (e.g. gonorrhea). Young people are particularly at risk. In 2015, 15 to 24-year-olds accounted for 62% of those diagnosed with chlamydia, 52% with gonorrhoea, 51% with genital warts, and 41% with genital herpes. Infection rates for men who have sex with men were, according to FPA figures, ‘disproportionately” higher. http://www.fpa.org.uk/factsheets/sexually-transmitted-infections . Prior to the 1960s there were only two significant sexually transmitted diseases, syphilis and gonorrhea, both of which were easily treatable with antibiotics, but this is very far from the case today.
In current SRE programmes, it is common to encourage children to use condoms in order to give them protection. This is misleading and dangerous. Condoms never provide complete protection and, contrary to what is said, some STIs are transmitted not by the exchange of bodily fluids, but by skin-to-skin contact, in which case condoms provide absolutely no protection at all. For example, HPV (in women the precursor to cervical cancer), genital herpes, syphilis, pubic lice, and molluscum contagium. STIs are also a major cause of adult infertility.
Treating such avoidable conditions is costly to the NHS, and an unnecessary drain on resources – but, more to the point , the contraction of such infections poses a major danger to children’s health and future wellbeing.
It is imperative children are not given the impression there is any such thing as ‘safe sex’, if they are going to indulge in casual relationships. To safeguard both their health and future, we therefore call for health warnings to accompany all sex and relationship education, with the message that monogamy alone ensures protection.
Petition to: Rt Hon Justine Greening - Secretary of State for Education