I’m a bit worried about sex.
Not for myself, you understand – though I did get a dirty tweet today on Twitter, yikes – but for Child One. Since arriving in the UK three years ago, she has ‘done’ sex as part of the national curriculum every year. Presumably every time, this is er, gone into in, ahem, greater depth.
There was the famous time that she had to colour in male genitalia, asked me what certain dangly parts were and was most disapproving when I could supply the correct answer. ‘You seem to know an awful lot about all this, Mummy,’ she said in crushing Lady Bracknell tones. Then, of course, she was shown the childbirth DVD. The obligatory child in her class crashed to the ground in a dead faint – but, to add a note of novelty, this time it was during the opening credits. Nobody had even mentioned stirrups. Wimps!
Now she is in Year Nine, and the spectre of actual sex is looming ever larger (a girl of the same age in another school apparently emailed a picture of her breasts to her boyfriend, who promptly posted them on Facebook. The age of chivalry is not only dead, but doesn’t even have its own social networking memorial site).
So far this year, she has had two full days of talks about sex. One day involved an extremely Christian couple who talked about the sanctity of marriage. Unfortunately, the girls may only be 13, but they all KNOW it is possible to have sex outside marriage. And they know that people get divorced. So it is pretty stupid, I think, for anyone to try and tell them differently, however well meaning. Child One was not impressed. Worse still, the couple was OLD and the Child and all her friends were utterly grossed out by the idea that these wrinklies were still Doing It. I didn’t dare ask how old they were as, obviously, they were bound to be much younger than me.
Now yet another talk is looming, as soon as the half term break is over. All right, the school is in the borough with the highest teen pregnancy rate in the UK. And maybe the constant repetition of the cold facts will make the whole subject as enticing as double maths. But still ….Is there anything else the school can tell them? I absolutely dread to think. ‘You’re going to know a lot more about this than me, soon,’ I joshed to Child One. She gave me a Mona Lisa style half smile. Now that really was a yikes moment.