Media Release 15 March 2014
Family First NZ says that ACC’s proposal to teach healthy relationships and how to say no is a common sense move which flies in the face of the flawed approach of other groups who simply say ‘you have to have it, but do it safe’.
But Family First also wants ACC to provide the resources to parents and families, rather than through the one-size-fits-all approach in classrooms which has failed.
“The current approach in NZ sows confusion about right and wrong and says the moral absolute is – use condoms. The government has been funding an agenda which is harmful and misleading to youth and inconsistent with the wishes of parents,” says Mr McCoskrie. “Hopefully this will now change.”
Family First will write to the Minister of ACC and ask that the proposed programme be targeted at parents as educators, and any resources going in to schools be pre-vetted by a representative group of parents.
“The current sex education curriculum operates under the assumption that everyone is doing it or about to do it, and therefore they just need to know how to do it ‘safely’. But in fact that is not the case. We should be supporting the majority of youth who are choosing to abstain, and encourage the sexually active students to delay further sexual activity.”
A poll of parents in 2010 found that three out of four parents want the abstinence message taught in sex education – with 69% of kiwis overall supporting the ‘wait’ message.
And a nationwide poll in January 2012 of 600 young people aged 15-21 found that only 19% supported just the ‘safe sex’ message currently being taught in schools, with one in three (34%) wanting ‘values, abstinence, and consequences such as pregnancy’ taught instead, and a further 42% asking for a combination of both – especially amongst older teens.
“For those youth who are sexually active, they are not being told the truth. Groups like the Family Planning Association and Rainbow Youth are perpetuating the myth that as long as you use a condom, you can pretty well do what you like in terms of promiscuity, experimentation, and fringe behaviours – with little or no information on the physical or emotional ramifications or prevention of disease.”
“The most successful programs are those that showed how delaying sexual activity protects a young person from STD’s, teen pregnancy and emotional trauma. They also underline the importance of self-control and responsibility.”
A review of sex education resources recommended to adolescents in NZ has found that they are seriously flawed with both sins of commission and sins of omission, and that critical life and death information is distorted or ignored. The Report “R18: Sexuality Education in New Zealand – A Critical Review” by US psychiatrist Dr Miriam Grossman demands that groups such as Family Planning Association and Rainbow Youth be held accountable, and that students be provided with the information and guidance they really need.