Girl Guides to have safe sex lessons

Nicole Martin
Telegraph UK

Lord Baden-Powell must be turning in his grave.

A century after he founded the Girl Guide movement to imbue young ladies with a love of the outdoor life and clean living, the organisation has decided it is necessary to teach them about safe sex, date rape and abortion.

About 450 members across Britain will be trained as “peer educators” to run sessions on contraception, sexual health, bullying, eating disorders, binge drinking and stress management.

Girlguiding UK, as it is now known, said that the Get Wise programme was devised in response to complaints from girls that such sensitive topics were not adequately discussed in school.

Under the scheme, the trained counsellors, aged between 14 and 25, will visit Guide units and schools, using role-play techniques to debate the issues in the open.

Information packs, known as Reality Checks, will be given to the trainers on the various topics, including one on sex and relationships.

It advises: “What you consider to be an appropriate relationship may not be inappropriate to others.”

The programme will be available for Guides, aged between 10 and 14, as well as the movement’s senior section for young women aged 14 to 25.

An adult leader will be present and parents will be informed in advance of the topics to be covered.

Denise King, the chief executive of Girlguiding UK, said that Get Wise would allow girls to discuss issues “relevant to their lives”.

“As UK’s largest organisation providing a safe female-only space at the most formative time of their personal and social development, we see it as our responsibility to give girls and young women the knowledge, experience and confidence to understand and manage the issues they face.”

Vicky Willis, 22, the programme’s chairman, said: “We will not be telling them what to do.”

But Norman Wells, of the Family Education Trust, claimed that the new peer education scheme “bears all the marks of adults abdicating their responsibilities for children and young people”.

“When parents and other authority figures fail to provide young people with moral guidance, they are abandoning them to a sea of relativism and forcing them to take decisions for which they lack the necessary wisdom and maturity.”

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