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Education

Leading human rights expert sets the record straight on LGBT-inclusive sex education as hateful campaigns ‘multiply’

Vic Parsons July 21, 2020
Inclusive sex education overwhelmingly benefits children, says expert

Evidence shows that children benefit from being taught about gender identity and sexual orientation. (Stock photo via Elements Envato)

LGBT-inclusive relationships and sex education “overwhelmingly” benefits children and society — but there are renewed attempts in European countries to remove it from schools, a leading human-rights expert has warned.

Curricula which teaches children about gender identity, sexual orientation, gender equality and healthy relationships has been protested against in countries from the UK to Poland.

Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe commissioner on human rights, is now warning that opposition to comprehensive relationships and sex education is indicative of opposition to human rights for women and LGBT+ people.

“Campaigns have multiplied across the continent, disseminating distorted or misleading information about existing sexuality education curricula,” said Mijatović.

“They have presented sexuality education as sexualising children at an early age, ‘propaganda in favour of homosexuality’, spreading ‘gender ideology’, and depriving parents of their right to educate their children in accordance with their values and beliefs.

“Disinformation about the actual contents of the curriculum is deliberately spread to scare parents.

“It is time to set the record straight.”

LGBT-inclusive sex education has overwhelming benefits.

In a long piece of commentary fiercely advocating for LGBT-inclusive lessons in schools, Mijatović went on to say that national and international research has proven the benefits of comprehensive sex education.

These benefits include less risky sexual behaviour, teenagers waiting until they’re older to have sex for the first time, increased use of contraception and improved attitudes towards sexual and reproductive health.

“Sexuality education in schools is today all the more necessary as children in most cases can — and do — obtain information otherwise, in particular through the Internet and social media,” Mijatović continued.

“While these can be useful and appropriate sources of information, they can also convey a distorted image of sexuality and lack information on emotional and rights-related aspects of sexuality.

“Through websites or social media children can also access scientifically inaccurate information, for example as regards contraception.

“It is worth emphasising that sexuality education in schools comes as a complement to and not a replacement of what may be shared by parents at home.

“However, it cannot be left entirely to families. In what other field of science would we relinquish the education of our children to the internet or families exclusively?”

 

 

More: Dunja Mijatović, inclusive sex education, LGBT relationships, sex ed

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