Select Committee on Health Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 1040-1044)



  1040. Does that lead young people to have unprotected sex, do you think, because they are encouraged to be sexually active but there is not the information for when they do become sexually active?
  (Ms Eagle) And they can.

  Dr Taylor: We have mentioned briefly the importance or lack of importance of parents. What messages would you like to send to people's parent, your parents, about talking to you about sex or avoiding it? What are your views?


  1041. Let us make it parents in general rather than their parents.
  (Mr Williams) I was watching TV the other day and there was a statistic on about 30% of girls get told off their mothers about sex but only 10% of males get told off their fathers. That is an issue, is it not, because that would also jump to men not knowing about sex a lot and then we would have to go to the all-male clinics and so on. If men do not know about it they will just hear word of mouth and they will go out and try it, so I think we need to make it knowledgeable.

  1042. Do you think the people you have talked to would have appreciated more discussion with their parents about it?
  (Ms Minty) Yes.
  (Mr Williams) I do not think parents but with more information, be it with parents, be it a leaflet, be it adverts. You could have a better advert for a condom showing a man buying his condom safely or a man pushing a pram, or saying, "Oh, what have you got in your trolley?" "I have got a pack of condoms", and not to feel ashamed for buying them; to feel safe. It is just publicity again. It is all a lot of things melded together.

Julia Drown

  1043. Do you think through schools we could try and encourage parents to do more to talk to their children about sex, about STIs etc? Do you think that would be helpful?
  (Ms Stuart) I think it depends what the parents are like though. If you have some real hard Mum who all of a sudden tries to talk to you about this stuff you are not going to want to listen. I could always speak to my Mum so I never felt ashamed to say anything to her if I did not understand something that someone told me. I asked my Mum and she told me.

Andy Burnham

  1044. So you all think the onus should not be on parents? It is good if your parents will support what the schools are doing but they should not be the ones primarily responsible? Is that it?
  (Ms Stuart) Yes.

  Chairman: Can I thank you all for a brilliant session. You have all been remarkably good witnesses—professionals, in fact. We do appreciate your coming along and we look forward to talking to you later on. Thank you very much.

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