British parents object to sex lessons for Scouts

April 5th, 2011 - 10:04 pm ICT by IANS  

London, April 5 (IANS) Many parents and family experts in Britain are agitated over a new policy that encourages providing sex-related information to teenaged Scouts.

As per the policy, Scouts in their mid-teens will be able to ask their leaders any questions they like about sex. Over 35,000 boys and girls in the Explorer Scouts group, from 14-18, will also be given information about abortion, condoms and sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, the Daily Express reported.

Family campaigners, however, have called the new rules “completely inappropriate” for the Scouting movement.

“Local Scout groups are not the right environment for even more sexualisation of our children,” says Patricia Morgan, writer and campaigner for parental rights.

“Parents send their children to these kind of activities to enjoy themselves and have fun in very healthy and innocent ways, not to come home with a pocketful of condoms.”

“We have done nothing since the introduction of the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy in 1998 but force-feed young children and teenagers information they do not need about sex, and the result has been ever higher teenage pregnancies and soaring rates of sexually transmitted diseases.”

“Even among parents who welcome sex education, the feeling may be that it is more appropriate at school than in after-school settings,” says Anastasia de Waal of the think-tank Civitas.

According to Health Protection Agency figures, Britain has the highest rate of sexually transmitted infections and teenage pregnancies in Europe.

However, Chief Scout Bear Grylls says: “This programme is about getting the right information to young people to help them make smart decisions about their relationships. We want to help young people become confident, clued up and aware.”

Explorer Scouts, a section of the Scout Association in Britain, are meant to provide a flexible and active Scouting programme for adolescents, with an emphasis on personal challenge and adventure.

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