Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Teach don't preach...

I've been a little light on the blogging - studying for my (hopefully) final ever exam has taken priority and there hasn't been a lot in the news that's taken my interest.  It is always a lot easier to write a negative blog than a positive one and I haven't noticed a lot that I feel strongly about.

One such matter though is that proposed by Nadine Dorries regarding the compulsory teaching of abstinence to girls in schools.  This is absolutely ridiculous and Spidey get's it spot on in her post (here) and Sarah Ditum in the Guardian also has a good piece (here).  There's not much I can add with regards this and both of the above make many points much more elegantly than myself.  However in my opinion singling out girls sends completely the wrong message, boys can be effected just as much as girls through under-age sex (though less likely from the teen pregnancy angle but still).  Also when I was a teenager someone telling you not to do something that others were allowed to do made it even more appealing.  

I haven't read the bill but I am an advocate of educating children rather than preaching to them.  Obviously very few people want children exposed to sexual imagery whilst they are still in primary school but I feel that once they reach their teen years they should be given all of the information necessary for them to make informed decisions rather than relying on playground rumour and peer pressure.  They should be encouraged to wait until the time is right for them but not preached to that they should effectively remain chaste.  My sexual education was a short talk at aged 11 by an uncomfortable teacher who then separated us (girls vs boys) to watch two separate videos - ours didn't work so we went back to class.  After this my education was pretty much from the internet and then fumbled teenage experience.

What disappoints me most though, and why I'm writing on this subject without adding a lot is how disappointed I am to see yet another motion passed with a low turnout just 67 voted in favour and yet it is getting through for another reading.  I have mentioned this subject before in relation the prisoners voting when the turnout was actually much higher.  Now I have no objection to MPs abstaining from voting due to perhaps an issue being too specialist and them feeling that they have not had sufficient time to learn the intricacies of any discussion however I doubt that this could have been the case here.  Surely in this day and age with all of the technology available MPs should be voting on almost every issue that arises in the Commons, if they don't then how are they representing their constituency?  Now I know that this was just a vote as to whether or not there should be further discussion, but still I think that any vote in the Commons should have over half of the members casting their vote.  

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