More than half of parents do not think sex education should be taught to children at school, a survey suggests.
Many think it is inappropriate to teach children about sex, whilst others think it should be a parents’ choice to inform their own child, according to a poll by baby product website babychild.org.uk.
The survey, which questioned more than 1,700 parents of children aged five to 11, found that 59% do not agree with the fact that sex education is often taught to children in schools, even from a young age.
Almost half (48%) of those questioned said children should be at least 13 years old before it is appropriate to teach them about sex, the survey found.
Of those that don’t agree that sex education should be taught in schools, two fifths (41%) said it was inappropriate to teach youngsters about the subject, while one in four (28%) said it should be the parents’ choice to teach their own child.
A similar proportion (27%) said there was no need for children to know about sex.
Contraception was the most popular topic that parents said should be covered in sex education lessons (chosen by 65%), followed by puberty (49%), homosexuality (48%) and sexually transmitted infections (47%).
BabyChild.org.uk co-founder Andy Barr said: “I am not surprised by the results of the study, with the majority of parents against the idea of sex education in a school environment.
“This is a sensitive subject and parents have their own way to approach it and want to control what their children know, even more so at a young age.”
At the moment, both primary and secondary schools have to teach pupils age-appropriate lessons about the biology of sex in science.
Schools must also have a sex education policy, although the subject is not compulsory.
The future of sex education is part of a current review of the entire national curriculum ordered by ministers.
* The survey questioned 1,732 parents between April 26 and May 4.