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You will not believe how little British people learn about gay sex at school

You will not believe how little British people learn about gay sex at school

Too few people learn much of anything about sex at school

It’s been 13 years since the entirety of the UK finally got rid of Section 28, the bigoted law that banned the ‘promotion of homosexuality’ in schools.

But if current standards are to show for anything, it proves British schools almost never learn about LGBTI sex, relationships or sex.

In a major new survey of over 900 young people by Terrence Higgins Trust, it found 95% of them had never been taught about same-sex love.

Not only that, but 89% were not taught about sex as a means for pleasure and 97% were never taught a single thing about gender identity and transgender people.

Three out of five respondents did not remember receiving information on HIV in school.

In February, the government refused to make SRE compulsory in schools.

This is in despite of 99% of the young people surveyed believing SRE should be mandatory in all schools, including academies, and 97% thought it should be LGBTI inclusive.

Amy Bush, a 22 year old lesbian, said: ‘I never received any education about gender identity, homosexuality, bisexuality or indeed any form of relationship, and no discussion of consent.

‘I definitely feel that coming out of the close would have been easier, had I been made to feel that homosexuality was normal and accepted – SRE classes are an easy and efficient way to do this.

‘Not only would inclusive education help those on the LGBTQ-spectrum to feel at ease about their own identity, but it would encourage other children to show solidarity, and not to bully those who are different.’

Andrew Kerr, a 21 year old gay man, said: ‘As I discovered my sexual orientation more, I realised that I had not been adequately prepared for my specific sexual orientation.

‘There was a lack of SRE which is specific to different sexual orientations and genders, including HIV prevention and transmission.’

Paul Bishop, Assistant Headteacher and Director of Sixth Form at St Cecilia’s School in South West London, said: ‘It seems everyone thinks SRE is someone else’s job.

‘The result is an information vacuum which leaves children and young people reliant on inaccurate or unrealistic depictions of sex and relationships from alternative sources, such as their peer groups and social networks.’

And Ian Green, chief executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, said: ‘In this report, we’ve seen the stark reality of SRE in this country and heard saddening stories of how one generation of young people have been exposed to low self-esteem, homophobia, bullying, unhealthy relationships and poor sexual health, as a result of the lack of quality SRE in our schools.

‘The government’s quiet blocking of compulsory SRE will condemn another generation of young people to leave school armed with little to no information on issues like LGBT relationships, gender identity and consent.

‘Without trusted information from schools on anything other than the biological basics of heterosexual sex, young people will turn to less reliable sources such as the internet or their peers as they navigate life outside the classroom. We must end this silence and make SRE mandatory in all schools if we are to tackle this safeguarding crisis.’