Arm young people with facts, not fear

I was going to add my twuppence worth into the ridiculous outrage in the past few days over the ‘threesome’ article. In fairness I had a lot of fun on Twitter talking about it. I also listened to Liveline and was bemused. Have we nothing better to worry about? Yes, in fact we do: rising employment, increased repossessions, suicides, poverty, teenage bullying, stress, despair, mass emigration, lack of proper health care, people lying on trolleys in hospitals, growing polarisation between rich and poor, and that poor child who drowned yesterday. We have a lot to worry about. Providing facts about sexuality is not a bad thing. Just because you know about a certain sexual act, does not mean you have to do it. Knowledge is power. From knowledge comes choice. Ignorance only creates fear. Anyway, I don’t want to labour the point, the good people at Spunout have expressed themselves very well and I enclose their statement here.

 

Arm young people with facts, not fear.

Published: March 23, 2013

Young people are having sex whether the Sunday Independent or Deputy Michelle Mulherin like it or not.

Some of them are having sex with more than one person, and sometimes with more than one person at the one time.

Research shows the average age at which teens start to engage in sexual activity is getting younger, particularly in urban areas. HSE data from 2006 (which is now seven years old) shows the average age at which a young person has sex for the first time is 17 (both male and female).

Education needs to begin earlier than the age of first sex and it is widely accepted that sexual education in Irish schools is both of poor quality and inconsistent.

Research by the HSE shows that young people who receive a detailed and quality sex education actually wait longer to have sex for the first time.

SpunOut.ie exists to provide balanced, reliable and responsible information for 16 to 25 year olds only. The age of consent in Northern Ireland is 16, SpunOut.ie is an all-island charity.

The Sunday Independent wrongly claims we receive €250,000 in state funding. We receive €124,000 in total and this was confirmed with the journalist in question at 11.50am on Saturday March 23rd by phone.

SpunOut.ie believes in the ability of young people to make the right decision for themselves once they have access to quality and reliable information, such as the information provided by our website.

We promote safer sex to reduce the transmission of STIs and unwanted pregnancy.

Young people are bombarded with unrealistic sexual imagery through films and porn, neither of which detail the drawbacks to different forms of sexual activity.

We do not promote threesomes, we arm young people with the facts about them.

We advise young people not to be coerced or pressured into having any form of sex.

All too often, older generations avoid having conversations with their young people about difficult subjects. This is particularly true in relation to sex. Parents feel uncomfortable talking to their children about it and teachers are afraid to raise the subject in the classroom. An adult’s discomfort does not negate a young person’s right to information.

Silence does not breed confidence, instead it creates fear and confusion.

We should arm our young people with the facts and trust them to make responsible decisions.

SpunOut.ie is proud to do just that.