November 22, 2008

British charity urges sex clincs in school

Britain's National Children's Bureau says every secondary school and college in the country should have a sexual health clinic on site.

The bureau, one of Britain's leading charities, maintains every student 11 to 18 years old should have access to advice on contraception, pregnancy tests and screening for sexually transmitted diseases, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

Such access could help reduce Britain's teenage pregnancy rate -- one of the highest among the world's developed countries, said a bureau report.

The recommendation likely will be opposed by family groups that believe greater exposure to sex education causes young people to take more risks, the Telegraph reported.

Last month, however, the British government said sex education would become compulsory in primary schools in an effort to reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Such compulsory sex education, taught before a child reaches puberty, has proved beneficial, said Tony Kerridge of Marie Stopes International, a sexual health organization.

We've got to do something in this country, because the rates of sexually transmitted diseases are rocketing, Kerridge said. We need to take some fairly drastic steps, so opening clinics in schools seems very logical.