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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 January 2012

Protect women's rights - oppose the abstinence bill

Beth Granter, Brighton Socialist Party

In May 2011, Tory MP Nadine Dorries made an attack on sex education via a private member's bill. Dorries proposed that girls be given "information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity" as part of their sex education.

Making abstinence education 'just for girls' positions women as the gatekeepers of sex, and men as having no responsibility.

Existing sex and relationships education (SRE) in the UK is not statutory. Already some schools, in particular academies, 'free schools' and religious schools (ie schools outside local authority control), do not teach comprehensive SRE because they disagree with the apparently 'unsavoury' content.

Abstinence education has been proven not to reduce sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy. A review of US sex-abstinence programs involving over 15,000 people by Oxford University found that they do not stop risky sexual behaviour or help in the prevention of unwanted pregnancy.

Dorries has made other attacks on womens' rights, such as trying to hand over counselling for women seeking abortion to religious anti-choice organisations, and trying repeatedly to reduce the time limit on abortions.

A few days after the first reading of her abstinence education bill Dorries went on the Vanessa Show and claimed that "if more children were taught to 'just say no' there would be less sexual abuse". This outrageous victim blaming is a total distortion.

Dorries' proposals, and the actions of her party, have nothing to do with helping women. For example, the Con-Dem cuts include:

Socialists believe that women should have full control over their bodies through access to genuine sex education, birth control, and political and social equality. The Con-Dem cuts are increasing inequality between the rich and everyone else.


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In The Socialist 18 January 2012:


Anti-cuts campaign

Stand up to Tory bullies

Pensions attacks can still be defeated

Labour leadership approves the Con-Dem cuts

Cameron's attack on Scottish independence referendum backfires

Welfare Reform Bill:- Lords compromise is no victory

Ofsted: "requires improvement"

John Lewis economy: another fantasy from Corporal Clegg

Them & Us


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Keep private vultures out of our NHS!


Youth fight for jobs

End the slave labour culture of workfare


Socialist Party workplace news

Electricians' national meeting plans next steps in battle against pay cut

Unilever workers say hands off our pensions

South Yorkshire Stagecoach bus drivers take eighth day of strike action

Jobs massacre at La Senza

Doctors support call for action


Obituary

Rob Windsor: socialist fighter and Coventry Socialist Party councillor 1964-2012


Socialist Party feature

1972 Derry - "this was murder"


Socialist Party campaigns

EDL intimidation fails in Barking

Save community schools - no to academies

Protect women's rights - oppose the abstinence bill


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Non-payment movement against new housing tax

Irish 'poll tax' battle has begun

Nigeria: Fuel strike suspended


 

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