Channel 4’s “alternative” sex education programme for older teens has prompted a backlash from viewers after it was shown at 11am on weekday mornings.
KNTV Sex, which is aimed at 14 to 19-year-olds, features animated characters who discuss issues such as contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, bisexuality and ‘coming out’.
It was shown on weekday mornings in November at 11am, meaning on some days it began just as children’s programming on other terrestrial channels was ending.
Over 100 complaints were lodged, with one viewer writing: “The programme is not teaching anything except that sex is something amazing that you should do”.
John Beyer of Mediawatch-UK said the issue raised questions about “broadcasting codes and the protection of children.
“Ofcom needs to look at this. The trouble is that Channel 4 just do what they want to do.”
Norman Wells, of Family and Youth Concern, added: “The last thing children and young people need is another TV series that trivialises and cheapens sex and divorces it form any moral context.”
A Channel 4 spokesman defended the programmes, saying they contain “no explicit imagery” and are “based on information and advice from both sexual health charities and teachers”.
The groups involved in the development of the series include the Terence Higgins Trust, Brook and the Sex Education Forum (SEF).
Both Brook and the SEF have been involved in lobbying for in-depth sex education for children as young as four.
The content of the series is outlined in detail on the Channel 4 Learning website, along with suggestions for using the programmes in lessons. Programme topics include “sexuality” and “fantasy, arousal and desire”.