Wednesday, July 14, 2010

'Growing Up': do you think it should be shown in primary schools

'Growing up - guide to puberty' is a DVD resource used in certain Catholic Primary Schools that I know of. You can download and check the User Guide at (Well, you could until recently, but it seems the link is not working just now.) I have pasted the link in full so that you can see that it is clearly a 'sex education' resource.

ADVISORY:You'll have to scroll down past some pretty disgusting stuff to find this particular DVD. Some time ago I asked a parent (not a parishioner or former parishioner) to take a look and she said her browser blocked it as unsuitable for family access, quite understandably. So you might need to temperorarily disable your safe family settings.

Clicking the 'more info' link on the single copy advert leads to a pop-up window which states:
GROWING UP a guide to puberty DVD Ref: 0097D
The film describes the changes happening to a child's body as he/she approaches and enters adolescence, dealing with both the physical and emotional aspects involved. Topics covered include:- Puberty, Changing Emotions, Social Expectations, Masturbation, Wet Dreams, Circumcision, Menstruation, Management of Periods and Hygiene. "the Bounty video 'Growing Up: A Guide to Puberty' widely used up and down the country and often thought of as being ideal to help plan and deliver SRE within primary school' Chris Mayer Editor of RCN School Nurse Forum Newsletter 2003.
Audience 8 - 12 yrs
Notes (updated 2003)
I attended a viewing of this DVD with some parents some time ago. Whilst some parents expressed some uneasiness, none wanted to withdraw their children from the presentations, which would be given by school nurses, for fear of disadvantaging their children. A couple who have experience of raising a large family were very much opposed to it.

The film is animated. But do you think this should be shown to 10 and 11 year old boys and girls, bearing in mind it:
  • contains detailed description and images of the female genitalia;
  • invites girls to inspect their genitalia with the use of mirrors;
  • shows an image of an erect boy's penis.

The 'Users Guide' (there appears to be something wrong with the link given on the website just now so you cannot get to read it at present) is for use at the discretion of the presenter. But to illustrate the philosophy of the producers, let me tell you a few things it states:
  • ‘young people … discover the pleasure of their genitals’;
  • ‘sexuality is not only about reproduction, it is about pleasure’;
  • ‘it is normal to masturbate’;
  • neither masturbation nor ‘touching and caressing the genitals… will do any harm’.

The 'Users Guide' contains a list of helpful organisations and websites. Yes, you've guessed it, they are:
  • the sexual health charity FPA
  • Brook Advisory which provides free and confidential sexual health advice and contraception to young people.

Amongst the suggested reading books for the children are books which clearly propagate a view of sexuality at odds with the Catholic Church’s teaching.

I appreciate that you might not have had the opportunity to view the DVD, but I'd be interested in learning what you think about the presentation of this DVD to primary school children. as I sometimes wonder whether I am just being an old fuddy duddy in having concerns about this. Depending on your comments, I'll put up a further interesting post on this matter.


  1. The trend of getting school nurses to give sex education to school children is worrying because school nurses are not employed by governing bodies, they are employed and line managed by Primary Care Trusts. School nurses therefore are not ultimately accountable to Governing Bodies. In a classroom setting, school nurses can be required to 'tailor' the sex ed to the ethos of the i.e. Catholic school, but increasingly, school nurses are expected to provide 1:1 guidance to children, on request, and confidentially. In this situation, school nurses offer guidance within their own professional guidelines, which is often unrelated to any faith ethos.
    There seems to be a strong emphasis on children making their own decisions about sexual behaviour, outside of parental or family influence, thus by the time they reach 16 or so, they have been primed to receive the kind of advice which was given to my daughter's class of 16 yr olds:
    "If you get into trouble (pregnant), don't tell your parents because they will not understand; come to see me and I'll help you sort things out".

  2. No you are not being an old fuddy duddy, but rather a Catholic.

    This kind of stuff is inappropriate for the age group, and this particular stuff inappropriate for Catholic children at all.

    These topics should really be dealt with at home: while I appreciate that does not always happen, it is outrageous that where it does, our kids are still forced to attend so well-intentioned (?) person's ill informed and secular presentations.

    Personally, I have doubts about anyone who is prepared to lecture primary school kids on this stuff: they must be so de-sensitised that they are not the right person for the job...


Please avoid being 'anonymous' if at all possible.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...