Nick Clegg – a man with lots of opinions about sexual education. (Photo via)
Nick Clegg has "very strong views" on sex education. Which I suppose is something that's useful to know. He says that, because of the "menacing" influence of the internet, our approach to educating kids about sex has to change – and he definitely has a point. However, that was all he gave us, keeping cagey about how exactly he wanted to reform sex-ed classes in Britain's schools.
So, to repay a man who has done so much for our country since becoming David Cameron's primary armrest in photo-ops a couple of years ago, I thought I'd go and do his research for him. London, how can we make sexual education better?
Jonathan: Sex education? You need to have more practicals, like in science.
VICE: You realise that we're talking about child sex education?
So, you mean more of a hands-on approach?
Yeah, hands-on. But not on the children, obviously. They need to know what they’re in for. Demonstrations. They need to also be taught how to actually make it good as well. I think, a lot of the time, they take the pleasure out it.
So less about the reproduction, more focus on the fun?
Yeah. And they need to show more of the risks associated with sex. Everything is always STI this, STI that, but they need to know that if a girl is having sex at a very young age, that’s part of her innocence gone. They need to show a more overall perspective, teach some respect.
James: What they used to do in my school, at least, was have certain bits they could show you and certain bits they couldn’t. They used to mute it and get a big piece of cardboard and put it over the TV.
What should they do instead?
They should just show you everything, not blur anything out. Even if it’s, like, six-year-old kids – show them the full thing, because blocking out everything makes you feel like there is something really strange going on.
So we should be more open about it?
Yeah, and just generally more honest. No animations, either. I would just have an actual man with an actual penis and an actual woman with an actual vagina. But actually, maybe not if you’re a four-year-old.
Kaylie (left) and Cheryl.
Kaylie: Wow, that’s quite full on. I don’t know what they teach these days. Thinking back to my sex-ed, it was just really awkward.
So you think they should make it less awkward?
Cheryl: Yeah, but it’s a personal thing, so it should be spoken about with your family,
Kaylie: No, I think it should be at school and a professional person should be brought in.
Cheryl: Yeah, it probably shouldn’t be, like, your science teacher. They just sort of whack a dildo on a table and say, "This is how you put a condom on." Brilliant.
Kaylie: Yeah, and it should be in really small groups so you can ask questions. And don’t separate boys and girls because that makes it more taboo.
Nemo: Maybe get rid of the bananas and actually use some proper nobs.
Chloe: I don’t know – my sex education was quite good.
What was good about it?
We had a talk about sexually transmitted diseases and got showed pictures. I think that put everybody off for quite a while. I also think one thing that’s a bit weird in this country is that we don’t talk enough about contraception for girls in terms of the pill. I mean, we are the only country in Europe that has free contraception and yet we have the highest rate of teen pregnancy. That doesn’t make sense.
So you think we need to talk more about contraception?
Yeah, definitely, and also other forms apart from the pill and condoms, because condoms can split.
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