Schools should promote celibacy in sex ed, says the Church of England
The Church of England has argued that schools should teach abstinence and celibacy as viable options in sex and relationships education (SRE).
In a blog post, the Church said that it would continue to teach abstaining from sex in the schools’ SRE curriculum, which provides education for one million children across the country.
“RSE should teach about healthy relationships and lifestyle choices,” writes Reverend Nigel Genders, the Church of England’s Chief Education Officer.
“In Church of England schools, RSE will be rooted in the teachings of the Church, including the importance of trust, loyalty, fidelity and the Christian understanding of marriage as the context for sexual relationships, as well as the understanding of abstinence and celibacy as positive life choices,” they added.
“It should give children accurate information to equip them for life in the modern world and make sure they are not harmed or negatively influenced by unrealistic or dangerous materials and expectations,” said the Reverend.
A large question mark remains over what will happen with the inclusion of LGBT sex and relationship education in the curriculum.
Although a consultation over the inclusion of LGBT relationships took place in January, the removal of Justine Greening as the Minister for Women and Equalities just days after the survey began has affected the policy change.
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In the most recent turn of events, Education Secretary Damian Hinds buckled on compulsory LGBT-inclusive sex ed amid pressure from faith groups such as Christian Concern, who described LGBT SRE as “indoctrination”.
“The concern is that this subject is being used to bring in indoctrination about homosexuality and transgenderism… lifestyles viewed as immoral by the world’s major religions ought not to be promoted as they are likely to conflict with the views of many parents.”
Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has put his weight behind LGBT-inclusive sex education.
“Sex education should involve same-sex as well as heterosexual relationships – it’s about relationships”, he said to Gay Times.
“Too much of it is not about relationships and understanding each other, having respect for each other and what is a genuine relationship and what’s an exploitative relationship; there’s a big difference.
“It’s giving young people the confidence to understand that a loving relationship is something to cherish and be proud of.”