BY MUFtRAY WHITE
SEX EDUCATION IS MADE
almost impossible because of the "sheer irrationality" towards sex in society, says an article in a Christian education magazine published today.
The claim came as details of controversial new sex education guidelines by Education Secretary John Patten were leaked. The plans, which have angered teachers' unions and parents' groups, are thought to include recommendations to stream sex lessons according to the existing knowledge of pupils and to prevent teachers' giving contraceptive advice to under-16s.
Richard Wilkins, the editor of Act Now, the magazine of the Association of Christian Teachers, said that the proposals, if true, would be "very difficult" for schools to accept. It was a mistake, he said, for the Government to try to tinker with sex education when there were more fundamental problems with society's attitudes to sex.
He told the Catholic Herald: "Streaming would be an absolute nightmare. Imagine testing children for their naivety or getting them to admit honestly their experiences. What young people need is to make sense of what sex is for."
Mr Patten's plans re expected to widen differe ces between the Catholic a a • ter and Health Secretary V'a. Bottomley who favou s a more open approach.
She has argued that gi pupils the full facts of con ceptives will reduce tee e pregnancies.
In an article in the new ue of Act Now, Mr Wilkins s id: "Taking modern life as we find it, sex does not make sense. Sex is portrayed as infinitely attractive and synonymous with fun, the supreme good, even the supreme god.
"Yet young people see that when their elders leave the exuberant language of enjoyment for that of sober fact, sex seems to be the main bane of human existence," he said. Young people are left increasingly confused by such contradictions.