Dear Fleur Fisher: To the head of the BMA's ethics and science division from a 16-year-old schoolgirl with sex on her mind

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Indy Lifestyle Online
I've just read your new guidelines on confidentiality for people under 16. In an admirable attempt to reduce teenage pregnancy and Aids, you have decided that contraception should be handed out to under-16s without their parents' permission. It's a fantastic move, and you mustn't worry about detractors who say that it will turn us into sex-mad beasts. We already are.

The whole point of being a teenager is to be obsessed with sex. The concept that someone might want to sleep with us influences what we wear, what we listen to and what we watch. Advertisers know that sex is what motivates us, and accordingly make sensitive ads for spot cream with tag lines like 'who gets the hots for people with spots?' Pop songs called 'I wanna sex you up' go to number one. Here are some of the things I dreamt about last night: having sex with Jim Morrison in a bath tub and something about Martin Amis being a lighthouse keeper. I don't even fancy him. See? Sex, sex and more sex, swaggering around our heads whether we like it or not; lust lolling in a tiny Lycra dress, batting its eyelashes as we try to concentrate on our maths.

Visiting your GP may become less daunting, but it doesn't mean teenagers are going to go and see them, we just don't operate like that: 'I'd really like to shag that Sharon who looks like Kim Basinger but with a squint, so I think I better make an appointment to speak to my GP about the pros and cons of spermicidal foam.' At our school, a resident counsellor has just been appointed - an excellent step, if it weren't for the fact that you have to arrange to miss a lesson to see her: 'Sorry, I can't come to economics because I HAVE A PROBLEM'. It slightly undermines the promise of her confidentiality.

More importantly, you fail to understand that it isn't teenagers who expose themselves to pregnancy and Aids. It's stupid people. When I went to camp, aged 10, I was told off for making another girl cry. I had disputed her claim that you get pregnant when God sprinkles magic dust on your tummy, and then, when it's time, the baby pops out of your belly button. I was told off and this girl is allowed to have sex. What is she going to tell her children when they ask about babies and where Kenneth Clarke came from? There are plenty of 30-year-olds who think that you can't get pregnant if you're standing up. Romans used to tie pigs' bladders around their ankles to stop pregnancy, and there's an equally ludicrous modern equivalent in practice, involving Coca Cola.

So I congratulate you - I just feel that what really needs to be done is out of your hands. Until sex education is compulsory in every school, for every age group, people are going to be using soft drinks as contraceptives, and try to drink condoms.

(Photograph omitted)

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