'Sex was much more fun when it was secret': Martin Whitfield on famous parents' reactions to the campaign

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The Independent Online
BERYL BAINBRIDGE, 59, the writer, who was married at 20 and has three grown offspring, thinks children suffer from too much sex education. 'I don't think you should tell them anything. The more parents keep out of it, the better. It was much more fun when it was secret and you had guilt.

'You can't be ignorant the way the television and schools bang on about it all the time. I feel quite strongly about it. There is no need for unwanted pregnancies, there is the Pill and abortions.

'Boys go for girls because of the urge. Girls go for boys . . . because they feel it's for life. That's the ignorance, not talking about sex, it's talking about what love is. What we should be saying is that children are a tremendous responsibility. Nobody should be allowed to have children unless they have an income and a roof over their heads.'

RICHARD BRANSON, chairman of Virgin and the bringer of Mates condoms to the nation, supports any efforts to increase sex education among teenagers.

Mr Branson, who got his girlfriend pregnant when they were both 16, said: 'Children should be told as much as possible as early as possible. There is nothing wrong with kids knowing what a condom is used for as early as five, six or seven. Parents should be . . . as open as they can.'

His teenage girlfriend had an abortion and Mr Branson went on to set up the Student Advice Centre for young people in similar circumstances.

SIR RHODES BOYSON, 68, who has two grown daughters and is a former head teacher and minister at the Department for Education, believes sex should be kept out of school. 'The more sex education we have had in schools the more teenage pregnancies seem to happen . . . Children mature at different ages. Sex education should be one-to-one, not 30-to-one.'

CLAIRE RAYNER, the agony aunt and a mother of three, is a supporter of the Family Planning Association campaign. 'I am still getting too many letters from girls who say they became pregnant as though it was something that just happened.'

RABBI HUGO GRYN, 63, of the West London Synagogue and a panel member of Radio 4's The Moral Maze, believes sex education should be conducted in the family. He has four adult children. 'They grew up with increasing knowledge.'