'Explicit' adverts to cut teenage pregnancy: Government aims to halve rate of conceptions among under-16s

THE SOUND of a teenage couple having sexual intercourse and a girl giving birth feature in a campaign which aims to cut teenage pregnancies by reminding parents of their role in teaching children about sex.

One advertisement, entitled 'Moaning', asks parents how they would cope if their teenage daughter had a baby. A second, which draws an analogy between sport and sex, is called 'Squash' and asks parents whether their sons have sex and know about contraception.

The campaign, launched by the Family Planning Association, is sponsored by the Department of Health and will focus on parental responsibility. Doreen Massey, FPA director, said 20 years of 'debate about sex education rather than sex education' had left thousands of parents 'ill-equipped' to tackle the subject.

She said that, despite the sophistication of teenagers, many still believe 'you can't get pregnant the first time', or 'it is OK if you do it standing up, or after a period'. More than 70,000 teenage girls give birth every year.

The two radio advertisements - described as explicit and hard-hitting by Tom Sackville, Under-Secretary of State for Health, yesterday - will be heard initially in Greater London and the north-west of England, which have the highest rates of under-16 pregnancies.

Speaking at the launch in London, Mr Sackville said: 'I hope this campaign will not be trivialised . . . There are people who say that anything explicit is anti-family. There is nothing more anti-family than a young girl getting pregnant.'

Sex education was a key responsibility of parents, Mr Sackville said. They should not expect schools or doctors to shoulder the burden. We had 'gone too far down the line' of expecting the State or medical profession to teach young people about sex and contraception when it was parents who should be talking to young people, he added.

The UK has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in Europe; under the Health of the Nation initiative, the Government aims to halve the number of conceptions to under-16s in England by 2000, from 9.5 in every 1,000 girls in 1989, to 4.8 per 1,000. Between 1990 and 1991, the rate fell by 8 per cent, from 10.1 to 9.3 per 1,000. The rate must continue to drop by 8 per cent each year for the next six years to meet the government target.

Ms Massey said the FPA recognised the key role parents have in educating their children about growing up, relationships and sexuality. But studies show that, although teenagers want their parents to be their main source of sex education, they receive more information from friends, at school or from magazines.

A free FPA booklet, Answering your child's questions, is available on 0800 555777.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
News
people
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches