The lack of inclusive sex ed in Ireland has long been a cause for concern, but now, Pure In Heart – a Catholic charity with a history of providing troubling information to students – have started to fundraise to deliver their own brand of teaching to Irish primary schools.
The Journal recently reported on a fundraising account the group had shared seeking €25,000 in support which stated, “we are starting to develop a presentation suitable for primary school pupils aimed at 5th and 6th class with the launch in Sept 2020.”
Some have queried why this group were given the opportunity in the past to share their teachings considering the speakers don’t make clear their qualifications. Their site lists only that they had “educated themselves about sexuality and relationships”. The Catholic charity have previously given sex ed classes to teenagers where they told them condoms failed one in six times and that, as heat made them ineffective, they didn’t work in Africa.
The Journal story also describes an exercise the group used to explain chastity where they would tape students together by the wrist, but then use the same piece of tape again and again with other students, showing how it lost its effectiveness with repeated use.
The author also interviewed a young person who had gone on a past retreat Pure In Heart had organised for teenagers where they were told “vasopressin and oxytocin were magical hormones released once in a person’s life – during the first time they have sex. They used this to tell us that having lost our virginity we would find it difficult or nigh on impossible to formalise emotional ties with our eventual wife.” Pure In Heart also offer no information for LGBT+ students. On their fundraising page, the group also announced their plans to create social media content, podcasts and blogs to share their messaging.
Beyond Pure In Heart, other schools have also proved themselves to be lacking in delivering inclusive sex education. In a recent opinion piece published by GCN, one young person who had received sex education in their school described how “you are taught the basics of safe sex under the assumption that you would only have sex after marriage and with a long-term partner. Contraception is mentioned in passing – it seems it’s assumed that you won’t need it. You also simply learn that LGBT+ people exist, not that it’s okay to be LGBT+ yourself.”
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