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Prevention/Epidemiology

British Tory Member of Parliament: Teenage Girls Should Be Taught How to Say "No" to Sex

May 5, 2011

On Wednesday, Tory Member of Parliament Nadine Dorries proposed legislation calling for a greater emphasis on abstinence in sex education lessons for girls ages 13-16.

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"The answer to ending our constant struggle with the incredibly high rate of teenage sexual activity and underage pregnancies lies in teaching our girls and boys about the option of abstinence, the ability to 'just say no,' as part of their compulsory sex education," said Dorries, who introduced the measure under the 10-minute rule bill, which gives MPs floor time to argue on behalf of their legislation. "Peer pressure is a key contributor to early sexual activity in our country. Society is focused on sex. Teaching a child at the age of seven to apply a condom on a banana is almost saying: 'Now go and try this for yourself.'"

"Girls are taught to have safe sex, but not how to say ‘no' to a boyfriend who insists on sexual relations," Dorries said, noting that she had sat in on sex education classes in 17 schools and had spoken to teenage girls, many of whom "do not even think they have the option of saying 'no' to boys."

Dorries' bill will receive a second reading in January, though it is unlikely to become law without government support. Only in rare circumstances does a measure introduced under the 10-minute rule bill get passed into law, so MPs often use the procedure as a way to garner attention to an issue.

Labour MP Chris Bryant, given an additional 10 minutes to oppose the measure, called it the "daftest piece of legislation" he has seen. "This is not the way to solve any of these problems, for a start, it's just about girls. You've got to talk to the boys and the girls."

Back to other news for May 2011

Adapted from:
The Guardian (London)
05.05.2011; Jessica Shepherd


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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