The World Health Organisation (WHO) is under pressure to withdraw guidance for schools recommending that toddlers “ask questions about sexuality”, “explore gender identities” and learn about “enjoyment” of “early childhood masturbation”. The Telegraph has the story.
The guidance says that “sexuality education starts from birth” and is described as a “framework for policy makers, educational and health authorities and specialists”.
Its advice on how to “talk about sexual matters” with young children was aimed at policymakers across Europe, and was translated into several European languages and promoted at national and international events, according to the WHO.
The document was also cited in a report consulted by Welsh ministers who last year rolled out a mandatory sexual education syllabus to schools in Wales, and has led to a backlash from the Government, MPs and activists.
The advice proposes that four-to-six year-olds should be taught to “talk about sexual matters” and “consolidate their gender identity”.
It recommends that children under the age of four should be told they have “the right to ask questions about sexuality” and “the right to explore gender identities”.
The WHO guidance also says that children aged four and under should be taught about “enjoyment and pleasure when touching one’s own body, early childhood masturbation”.
These topics are described as the “minimal standards that need to be covered by sexuality education”.
A Government spokesperson said: “The U.K. Government does not recognise this WHO guidance and we don’t agree with its recommendations. We have not distributed or promoted it to schools. We offer our own guidance to help schools to teach children and young people about relationships and health.”
However, the WHO guidance, first published in 2010, was cited in a 2017 report commissioned by Welsh ministers entitled ‘Informing the Future of the Sex and Relationships Curriculum in Wales‘.
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