Ukip says sex education for under-16s should teach 'normal science' and stop 'obsessing over gender queer theory'

Party’s education spokesperson David Kurten says it is wrong to advocate ‘non-reproductive acts’ to those below age of consent

Richard Wheeler
Thursday 01 June 2017 17:40
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‘We need to focus and lead our young people to what is important,’ says David Kurten, Ukip’s education spokesperson
‘We need to focus and lead our young people to what is important,’ says David Kurten, Ukip’s education spokesperson

Sex education for schoolchildren under the age of 16 should only include “normal science” of reproduction and chromosomes, Ukip said as it criticised those “obsessing on gender queer theory”.

David Kurten, Ukip’s education spokesperson, said it is wrong to suggest anything to do with “non-reproductive sexual acts, sex-change operations or gender fluidity” should be taught to pupils under the age of consent.

He said such topics could be introduced after a child turns 16 as they are becoming adults and therefore “can deal with these different concepts” and understand them.

Mr Kurten said parents are the primary educators of their children, adding counselling should be offered to those pupils who want to talk about their feelings and “specific things”, those at “risk of sexualisation” at an early age or those who have become sexually active before 16.

Speaking at a press conference in central London, Mr Kurten said: “We must protect our children from damaging and confusing fringe ideologies which sexualise children at an early age and confuse their natural development as boys and girls – both in primary, secondary and even pre-schools.

“No one would have thought 10 years ago that it would ever be considered politically incorrect to call children boys or girls, to call parents mothers or fathers, or if you say there are two biological sexes determined by your chromosomes rather than 40 or 50 or 60 different genders then this is on the way to being considered a hate crime.

“Of course it isn’t. It’s science.

“We must continue to teach scientific facts of reproduction and that your chromosomes determine your biological sex – the right age to do this is 11.

“But children deserve a childhood. They should not be sexualised with concepts which are grossly inappropriate for their age.”

Mr Kurten said he has seen materials aimed at seven-year-olds “describing sex acts, which are nothing to do with reproduction, in graphic detail”.

He went on: “This is wrong, as was the call of the NUT [National Union of Teachers] to introduce some kind of sex education into nursery schools. Two-year-olds in nursery schools can hardly talk.

“It’s wrong to suggest anything that might open the door to teach about non-reproductive sexual acts, sex-change operations or gender fluidity to two-year-olds or even four-year olds in primary schools, or even 11-year-olds in secondary schools.

“While countries in Asia are flying ahead of us in academic attainment and eastern European countries are training their own young people with all the technical skills they need to succeed, in Britain part of the debate about education is focused by obsessing on gender queer theory and whether boys should wear girls’ uniforms.

“This is nonsense and we need to focus and lead our young people to what is important – [that] they have the skills they need to survive and thrive in the 21st century.”

Asked what age would be considered appropriate to teach pupils about gender fluidity and sex changes, Mr Kurten replied: “As you know, the age of consent in this country is 16 so I don’t think we should be promoting any kind of sex education beyond the normal science – reproduction and chromosomes – up to 16.

“After 16, when people are transitioning to becoming adults and people can deal with these different concepts then we can introduce them – at an age when people can deal with and understand it.

“But certainly in primary school and definitely pre-school, I wouldn’t allow it.”

Mr Kurten was challenged whether Ukip’s approach could create difficulties for children at a later age, such as with their mental health, by not allowing teaching on topics beyond reproductive science until post-16.

He highlighted the role of parents before adding: “If there are specific individuals who are at risk of sexualisation at an early age, who become sexually active at an early age before the age of consent – which is 16 – and then if there are specific people who want to talk about specific things then we need to provide a means for specific people, specific children to be counselled, to be able to talk about their feelings and talk about what they need to talk about.

“But I don’t think we need to do that for the mass of children under 16.

“I think we need to teach the scientific facts but we shouldn’t be teaching children anything that might encourage them into early sexual activity – whether that’s heterosexual or homosexual.”

Mr Kurten’s education speech also included calls for a “national plan” to allow 500 grammar schools and technical schools to ensure they are in “every town, city and borough in the country”.

He accused the Conservatives of paying “lip service” to grammar schools by failing to lift the ban in seven years of government.

Addressing universities, Mr Kurten said there “shouldn’t be safe spaces or no platforming” on campuses.

He added: “If students cannot respond in a mature manner if they disagree with an idea they shouldn’t be at university.”

Press Association

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