Children aged five should be taught sex education in school

School children from the age of five should have comprehensive education in sex and alcohol, the government health watchdog NICE has advised.

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The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) claim that sex education from an early age is most effective in deterring children from having underage sex and giving them advice about alcohol can prevent binge drinking.

Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive of Nice, said: "We also know education about sex and relationships is more effective if it is introduced before young people first have sex.

NICE belileve that sex education should be taught in a way that it "sensitive to diverse cultural, faith and family perspectives". For the youngest children lessons should focus on "the value of friendships and having respect for others".

The watchdog also claims that sex education from an early age will not increase "the likelihood of sexual experimentation", but instead it would give young people the confidence wait until they are older to have sex.

According to NICE, 40 per cent of young people rate their own sex education as poor. However, in the past there has been a lot of controversy surrounding teaching sex education to minors.

The watchdog also suggested teaching children about the dangers of drinking since they will be aware of alcohol from an early age anyway through advertising.

Mark Bellis, director of the Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University, said: "For most children, attitudes to alcohol start to develop long before they begin to drink.

"Parental drinking, advertising and sponsorship ensure that children can grow up in environments steeped in references to alcohol.

"Even at an early age, children require a basic understanding of alcohol, the part it plays in society and the dangers relating to its use."

Do you think it would be beneficial for children as young as five to learn about sex and alcohol? Leave your comments below...