Sex education in spotlight

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The recent National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommendations, Harmful sexual behaviour among children and young people, rightly highlight the dangers of labelling children and young people as sex offenders if prosecuted for sexting.

For some young people, sexting is a normal part of their relationships.

However we also know that girls are especially vulnerable to negative consequences.

To address the realities of girls’ lives, the education of boys and girls needs to include sex and relationship education with information on consent, as well as different forms of digital and online engagement including sexting.

A change to the curriculum which, according to a poll we recently commissioned, is favoured by eight out of 10 Britons.

We need to start with the girls themselves and what they feel and think would help them.

This means delivering quality sex and relationships education to help young people develop healthy attitudes towards sex and relationships, while also tackling inappropriate and aggressive sexual behaviour.

Kerry Smith,

Head of Girls’ Rights and Youth,

Plan International UK,

Cranwood Street,

London.