Sex education guidance has 'opened floodgates' to extreme content in schools, MP says

A Tory MP has hit out at the Government’s 2020 relationships and sex education guidance

Published

The Government’s 2020 relationships and sex education (RSE) guidance has “opened the floodgates” to extreme content on sex in schools, a Tory MP claims.

Miriam Cates, Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge – and a member of the Commons’ education committee, told a Westminster Hall debate that “extreme and inappropriate” sex education material was being shared with children in schools in England.

She said the new RSE framework “opened the floodgates to a whole host of external providers who offer sex education materials to schools, and now children are being exposed across the country to a plethora of deeply inappropriate, wildly inaccurate, sexually explicit and damaging materials in the name of sex education”.

Ms Cates referenced material from the Sex Education Forum that divided children into two groups of “menstruators and non-menstruators” and said this would lead to confusion for a teenage girl whose periods did not start.

Miriam Cates spoke out against the Government’s 2020 relationships and sex education (RSE) guidance
Miriam Cates spoke out against the Government’s 2020 relationships and sex education (RSE) guidance
Students are exposed to 'extreme' content, Ms Cates claims
Students are exposed to 'extreme' content, Ms Cates claims

She said: “How does she know she’s not pregnant? Will she just assume she’s one of the non-menstruators?”

Sex education provider BISH, she said, claim "many people" are in the middle of the spectrum in terms of whether they have a penis and testicles, or clitoris and vagina.

Ms Cates said that some RSE lessons were “actively contributing to the sexualisation and adultification of children”.

The 39-year-old noted: “The introduction of graphic or extreme sexual material in sex education lessons also reinforces the porn culture that is damaging our children in such a devastating way."

Ms Cates said some material references a wide range of sexual positions, including “rough sex”, spanking and choking, even in content aimed at pupils as young as 14 years old.

A "distraught" parent in Ms Cates' constituency told the MP that her six-year-old had been taught about masturbation in school.

The Tory MP claimed that encouraging pupils to talk about intimate details with adults made them more “available” and “susceptible” to sexual predators.

She said: “Another significant concern is the use of RSE to push extreme gender ideology.

"Gender ideology is a belief system that claims that we all have an innate gender that may or may not align with our biological sex.

“Gender ideology claims that rather than sex being determined at conception and observed at birth, it is assigned at birth and that doctors sometimes get it wrong."

Ms Cates said numerous resources presented “gender theory as fact”, as did visitors from external agencies, and that this had “concerning consequences”.

She concluded: “There’s been a more than 4,000% rise in the referrals of girls to gender services over the last decade, and a recent poll of teachers suggests that at least 79 percent of schools now have trans-identifying children."