World Health Organisation faces backlash over sex guidance for schools

World Health Organisation faces backlash over guidance for schools saying children aged four and under should ‘ask questions about sexuality’ and ‘explore gender identities’

  • A controversial document on child sexuality by the WHO has sparked a backlash
  • It suggested that children aged four and under should be taught about sexuality 

The World Health Organisation is facing a backlash over its controversial guidance for children’s sexuality and gender.

The WHO’s guidelines suggests that children as young as four and under should be given sex education and ‘explore gender identities.’ 

In a document published to provide guidance for policymakers in Europe, the organisation claims that ‘sexuality education starts from birth.’

Officials describe the guide as a ‘framework for policy makers, educational and health authorities and specialists’.

The guidance suggests that children between four and six years old should be encouraged to ‘talk about sexual matters’.

(Stock Photo) A controversial report by the WHO on how young children should be taught about sexuality and gender has sparked a backlash 

The guidance includes a recommendation that children as young as four and under are taught about masturbation 

The WHO document has led to a backlash in the UK, including from MPs and campaigners, The Telegraph reported.

It even suggests that children aged four and under should be taught about masturbation and ‘enjoyment and pleasure when touching one’s own body.’

These fall under the what the WHO refers to as the ‘minimal standards that need to be covered by sexuality education.’

It was cited in a report by the Welsh government, which introduced a mandatory sex education syllabus last year.

However, the UK government has rejected the guidance being introduced to children in Britain.

A government spokesperson said: ‘The UK 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.’

In Wales, Conservative MS and shadow minister for education Laura Anne Jones called for the WHO to ‘rescind the advice immediately.’

She add that the Welsh government should ‘distance themselves’ from the ‘frankly disturbing’ guidelines. 

Child safety campaign Safe Schools Alliance also condemned the document.

Spokeswoman Tanya Carter said: ‘An urgent inquiry is needed into how this ideology… has come to influence so much public thinking.’

The WHO said that it stood by its guidelines on child sexuality despite the backlash.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: ‘Our guidelines reflect established psychological facts about children’s understanding of their bodies and psychosocial development based on decades of research.’

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