18 May 2011

Queensland Parents Support Sex Education

Queensland's Sex Education
If only parents in the Australian state of Queensland mirrors the attitude of parents in the Philippines when it comes to the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, then the measure would have not faced this much opposition. If only the similarities extend across the two countries, then it may even tone down media coverage of Catholic priests’ one-sided pronouncements every Sunday.

While some parents in the Philippines are still hesitant to publicly denounce the Catholic Church tirade against the provision of the RH Bill, most parents in Queensland proudly support school-based sex education. A new survey released on 16 May 2011 by a leading provider of sexual and reproductive health services, Family Planning Queensland (FPQ), showed that 91 percent of parents back sexuality and relationships education in the State's schools.

The director of education and community services at FPQ, Cecelia Gore, said too often schools choose to not provide sexuality and relationships education out of fear of parent backlash.

"This study shows parents support teachers to continue delivering and in fact expand what is covered in school-based sex education," Gore said.

The research found that 80 percent of parents believe it is very important that children receive ongoing lessons over several years, rather than a single session. The most important topics to parents were preventing sexual abuse, sexual development, reproductive health and learning about feelings.

"When sexuality and relationships education is not provided in schools, our young people are at risk of everything from sexual abuse to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections," Gore said in a statement.

The survey showed solid support for sexuality and relationships education among both mothers and fathers and those with a range of religious beliefs, and regardless of whether parents speak a language other than English at home or have a child with a disability, FPQ said.