Sex In Class, TV review: Bringing Britain's abysmal sex education up to standard

Is Britain ready for Belgian sexologist Goedele Liekens?

Ellen E. Jones
Friday 07 August 2015 00:39
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Belgian sexologist Goedele Liekens with pupils at Hollins Technology College in Accrington
Belgian sexologist Goedele Liekens with pupils at Hollins Technology College in Accrington

While some women strain every sinew to cause outrage, others do it with effortless chic. The Belgian sexologist Goedele Liekens is one of the latter type, and in Channel 4's Sex in Class we followed her blush-making efforts to bring Britain's abysmal sex education up to standard with the rest of western Europe.

The pupils at Hollins Technology College in Accrington are typical of teenagers across the country, in that they supplement the threadbare official curriculum with a terrifying amount of internet porn. If we want to avoid raising a generation with some very strange ideas about intimacy, Goedele believes topics such as relationships, consent and masturbation should also be covered in class – but is Britain ready for that frank discussion? Probably not, judging by the appalled looks on the faces of even Hollins' most open-minded teachers.

Actually, it's not really the teachers, nor the kids, nor their parents who are at fault. In one very telling scene, Goedele met the MP Graham Stuart, who chairs the Commons select committee on sex education. Watching this grown man squirm as he revealed his ignorance of basic female anatomy was hilarious and depressing in equal measure.

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