Teenagers should be told “an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away”, according to a new booklet produced by the NHS.
A new leaflet, entitled Pleasure, says health promotion experts focus too much on encouraging ‘safe sex’ and not enough on enjoyment.
It has been circulated to teachers, parents and youth workers.
Under the heading “an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away”, the leaflet says: “Health promotion experts advocate five portions of fruit and veg a day and 30 minutes physical activity three times a week. What about sex or masturbation twice a week?”
One of the authors of the leaflet, Steve Slack, Director of the Centre for HIV & Sexual Health at NHS Sheffield, claimed that as long as teenagers are fully informed about sex and are making their decisions free of peer pressure and as part of a caring relationship, they have as much right as an adult to a good sex life.
The booklet has been endorsed by Brook and FPA (formerly the Family Planning Association), two sexual health charities who advise the Government on its sex education policies.
But family campaigner Dr Trevor Stammers said the leaflet would encourage ‘risky’ behaviour and an increase in sexually transmitted diseases.
“It is unbelievable that this is being sent to schools”, he said.
“I’d like to know what scientific evidence there is to back this up. There are an awful lot of overpaid and under-occupied health promotion officers around who are obsessed with sex.”
He added: “If the NHS wants to promote a healthy heart, as it says it does in this leaflet, it should put the money into reducing smoking and alcohol”.
“Underage sex is as dangerous as underage drink and usually leads to sexual ill-health”, he continued.
Last week it emerged that a £6 million project aimed at reducing teenage pregnancy had actually increased conceptions among the girls involved.
The failed project, which involved giving teenagers information about sex and providing free condoms, led to calls for the Government to scrap its policy of tackling the problem of underage sexual activity with increasing levels of sex education.
Columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown wrote: “By any reckoning, it is a monumental failure. Yet I predict that all those on the Left will yet again insist that only more sex education will help free these young women.
“They will insist that only this can free them from the fate that otherwise awaits them, repeating the cycle of teen parenthood through future generations.
“But how can this be right? It makes no sense to me at all, repeating a prescription that is manifestly failing.”