A Conservative MP has said that sex education should be scrapped as not only is it a parent’s responsibility, but because it has also only served to increase teenage pregnancies.
Philip Davies, MP for Shipley in Yorkshire, was speaking in the Commons today as MPs debated the Sex and Relationships Education (Curriculum) Bill.
It had been introduced by Diana Johnson, Labour MP for Hull North and Shadow Home Office Minister for Crime and Security, and hopes to make compulsory lessons about sex and relationships in schools that goes further than the “inadequate” system already in place.
For example Ms Johnson said there is no obligation to teach children about neither healthy relationships nor consent.
She also wants to raise awareness in schools about violence against women and girls and says increased discussion could even save some young people from being abused in the future, such as with the Rotherham scandal or the Jimmy Saville revelations.
Ms Johnson had also previously said that further sex education could help to prevent “unplanned teenage pregnancies”, but this was a sentiment not shared by Mr Davies, who reportedly claimed in parliament today that "sex education fanatics" are responsible for more teenage pregnancies.
He said: “We have been having sex education in schools for more than 40 years - the problems it was meant to solve, teenage pregnancies, unwanted pregnancies, most people would think the more sex education we have had the more teenage pregnancies we have had,” reports the Yorkshire Post.
He added: “They might want to look at the evidence and try less sex education or none might be better,” while also claiming that “sex education has failed”.
“One thing everyone will have to conclude is that what we need is less sex education or perhaps even better none,” he said.
“The message we should be giving to parents is this - we should be saying that being a parent is a very responsible business. You should not enter into it lightly and there are things that only parents and parents alone can do and are expected to do. The state cannot actually fulfil the role of the parent.
“I don't want my children to have the teacher's values instilled in them whether I like them or not, whether I support them or not. These are things that should be done by parents and parents alone.”
Ms Johnson disagrees: she said that the state cannot just sit back and hope that those important conversations are taking place at home, when many vulnerable children do not have the support they need.
She said leaving it to parents is an old approach that is “not working” and that youngsters need more skills to protect themselves in this “free, open, digital, technological society”.
Mr Davies did not force a vote, so the Bill has passed its first reading. It is scheduled for a second reading on 21 November.
The Independent has contacted Philip Davies’ office for comment.
Additional reporting by Press Association.
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