Below is a joint statement from Brook and the sexual health charity FPA responding to the Bailey Review and its recommendations:
We welcome the publication of this report, ‘Letting children be children’, and its recommendations on addressing the commercialisation and sexualisation of children and young people.
Schools have an important part to play in helping children and young people build confidence and self esteem, so they can understand and critically analyse sexualised images and messages enabling them to be resilient to their impact. Therefore we believe this is a missed opportunity not to recognize the role of good quality relationship and sex education in schools, as one of the report’s key recommendations.
We welcome measures that help parents voice their concerns, but we also think more can be done to support parents to have a dialogue about these issues in the home. In our opinion it's far more beneficial for parents to have a discussion with their children about why, for example, pornography presents an unrealistic picture of sex, than to just report the fact that their child accessed it.
FPA and Brook work with thousands of young people and parents every year. Young people tell us they are often ill-equipped to deal with a highly sexualised society. Parents want to work with schools to address this hugely important issue. We urge the Government to consider the role of statutory sex and relationships education along with the other recommendations proposed in ‘Letting Children be children.'