Sexuality Education in New Zealand Report finds resources ‘seriously flawed’ – recommends adults guide students with authority, firm rules and high expectations

Sex Education“We must provide students with an ideal to strive for, one that offers them the healthiest option physically and emotionally. The healthiest ideal is to postpone sexual activity until adulthood, and ideally, until marriage.”

This is the recommendation of Miriam Grossman and Christopher White in a report entitled “Sexuality Education in New Zealand: A Critical Review”, which was commissioned by Family First NZ.

The report is an analysis of various sex education resources promoted to New Zealand adolescents and used in a number secondary schools. The resources reviewed were typically websites and included,,, and publications from Family Planning, an affiliate of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

The analysis found that information presented to adolescents “is not accurate, comprehensive, or up-to-date.” Permeating the sexuality education resources was the message that sex is “risky only when it’s ‘unprotected’”. The materials overstated the efficacy of condoms, “in some cases vastly so”.

Grossman concluded that “the sexuality education programmes that have been reviewed are seriously flawed, with both sins of commission, and sins of omission,” and “students are left misinformed, and with a false sense of security” as “critical life and death information” is “distorted or ignored”.

While the Ministry of Education states that “a key message” is the “need to delay the start of sexual activity”, resources given to adolescents promote sexual activity and only have a cursory mention of abstinence being a sure fire way to avoid STIs and pregnancy.

Using as an example the report points out that abstinence is defined correctly “but the message is ambivalent, and the expectations are low. Delaying sex is ‘good’ – but at the same time, know how to use a condom.” This approach “is merely a wink and a nod, before a much longer and detailed instruction on how to go about having sex with your partner(s).”

Discussed in the report is the overriding belief held by many sexuality educators that adolescents should be treated as adults, with the right to engage in sexual activity when they consent. Grossman states “We cannot expect teens to delay sexual activity while instructing them, ‘only you know when you’re ready’. It is the nature of adolescence to feel ‘ready’ for just about anything.”

The report examines the biological differences between boys and girls, exposing the fact that “girls pay a higher price than boys for early sexual debut and multiple partners.” That price includes both emotional ramifications and the physical consequences of STIs and pregnancy.

Many of the resources analysed are explicit and discuss the “how to’s” of sex, including homosexual sex and other risky sexual behaviours, all the while failing to adequately warn adolescents of the dangers and facts surrounding contracting STIs such as Chlamydia.

Grossman points out that even though every young person may not postpone sex

we are still obligated to inform them of the grave risks they face, to teach them biological truths about their physical and emotional vulnerabilities, to warn them in a no-nonsense manner about avoiding high risk behaviours, and to encourage the highest standard.

The report has been labelled in part, homophobic by Shaun Robinson, executive director of the Aids Foundation who says “it [the Foundation] encourages behaviour change – celebrating condoms as a normalised part of sex.”

But the Sexuality Education in New Zealand Report concludes that

adolescents look to adults for authoritative guidance. It is our responsibility to do precisely that –guide them with authority, firm rules and high expectations. That is not accomplished by telling them ‘only you know when you’re ready’. When we provide that message, we fail young people. When we teach them to rely on latex, we fail again.


Family First’s traditional family views deemed ‘controversial’

Family First is to be removed from the Charities Register weeks after the passing of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill because it has been deemed by the Charities Registration Board that their main purpose is political.

The Board have also said that Family First’s views on the family are “controversial” and that “the points of view do not have a public benefit that is self-evident as a matter of law.”

Since when was standing up for a traditional view of the family and of marriage as being between one man and one woman controversial?  Certainly half of New Zealander’s didn’t support the Marriage Amendment Bill, but they were ignored.  80% of New Zealander’s didn’t support the law which has become known as the “anti-smacking” law, but they were ignored.  Isn’t the real controversy in the fact that the politicians are not listening to the people, so groups like Family First need to speak up loud and clear in order that the people’s views are at least given some chance to be heard?

Sadly, the powers that be don’t see the public benefit of many of the things Family First stand for.  In particular, they cannot see the further damage that will occur to society in the years to come now that our country has accepted same-sex ‘marriage’.

The Charities Registration Board have not seen that in the “Protect Marriage” campaign, Family First have been able to educate the public about the true nature of marriage.  Education is one of the activities allowed by Charities and Family First do that.  It just so happens that the social depravity in our country (led by our politicians who wish to decriminilize everything once held as immoral), is getting so bad that the need to speak out is urgent.  It seems the Registration Board picked a time to investigate Family First when it was known the charity would be very vocal and very active politically as a matter of course.

It is a worrying prospect to think that any charity that dears to speak up against the politically correct party-line may be removed from the Charities Register in an effort to be silenced.  Democracy is fast becoming something of the past and our government and their departments are beginning to look very totalitarian.


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NZ Teens Tend to Be Pro-Life

A poll undertaken in December by Family First suggests that NZ teens and young adults are tending to take a more pro-life position than not.

The poll asked 600 New Zealand young people between the ages of 15 to 21 three questions relating to sex education, abortion and parental notification.

Sex Education.  A large number of respondents (42%) wanted to be taught sex education that included values, abstinence and consequences such as pregnancy as well as “safe sex”.  Only 19% wanted “safe sex” education without values, abstinence and consequences.

Educators of teens should take note of these results.  The sex education that goes on in many of our classrooms involves graphic details on the mechanics of sex as well as ways to “protect” yourself from STI’s and unplanned pregnancy.  This type of sex education only serves to increase the incidence of STI’s and teenage pregnancy.

In these results we are seeing the innate understanding in young people of the specialness of the sexual act.  These results confirm that young people are wanting to be given the tools so as NOT to have sex.  Sex educators, politicians and curriculum writers should listen to these young people and act accordingly.

Parental Notification of Abortion.  The majority (59%) believed that parents should be told if their school-aged daughter is considering an abortion.

It is wonderful to see that young people are backing parents on this issue.  The law currently states that it is unlawful for a school counsellor (or any other person that a young girl goes to) to inform parents or legal caregivers of the child’s wish to have an abortion.  This, according to the law, is a violation of the girl’s privacy.  A teenage girl could be taken for an abortion without the parent’s knowledge.  Yet (and it has been said time and time again), if the school wishes to take that same young person on a school trip they cannot do so without the parents/caregivers permission.

Abortion is a surgical procedure, that not only has the potential to scar the girl herself (both physically and mentally), but also kills a smaller, even more innocent child.  It seems ridiculous that parents cannot be notified of the situation in a sensitive way.  The results of this poll suggest that young people think it is ridiculous too.

Right to Life of the Unborn Child.  Keeping in-line with recent trends, 56% of respondents said that they believed an unborn child or foetus has the right to be born.

It is encouraging to see that the majority of those polled believe that the unborn child has a right to life.  It is now so easy to share images, ultrasounds and videos of the pre-born child.  How can anyone deny the unborn child’s humanity?  With so many young people seeing this truth, the chance that abortion may be ended is a real possibility.

However, we must note that just under half of respondents to this poll held a more liberal view of the questions asked.  There is much still to be done to work towards a New Zealand where life and love is cherished from conception through to natural death.