Labour has come under fire for pledging to make sex education compulsory for children as young as five if the Party wins the General Election.
The shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said that the plans, backed by homosexual lobby group Stonewall, are part of a wider strategy to eradicate ‘homophobic bullying’.
All state-funded schools, including academies, free schools and voluntary-aided schools, would be forced to teach sex and relationships lessons starting at Key Stage 1 (five to seven-year-olds).
Labour also wants to introduce new training for teachers to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.
But The Christian Institute warned that rather than solving the issue, making sex education compulsory for young children will only cause more problems.
Spokesman for the Institute Simon Calvert said: “We are all concerned about the sexualisation of young people, particularly with the influence of the internet and social media but Labour have landed on the wrong solution.
Counsel of despair
“For three decades the cry has been that we must have more sex education, of a more explicit nature, at an ever younger age – and look where it has got us.
“We should end the defeatism that says all children will inevitably be exposed to pornography and engage in underage sexual activity. It is a counsel of despair.”
Daily Mail columnist Stephen Glover said sex education for five-year-olds is “utterly preposterous” and “dangerous”.
“Even in our increasingly sexualised society, most children aged five are not interested in sex”, he said.
“Why thrust what must seem strange, irrelevant and possibly worrying notions into their young minds?”
He added: “Young children, who should be left in a state of innocence for as long as is possible, find themselves caught up in the sexual fixations of adults. This seems to me a form of abuse.”
Last year, the Liberal Democrats announced plans to force schools to offer lessons on sex and relationships in Key Stage 2, for children aged seven to eleven.
Liberal Democrat schools minister David Laws said they believe it will help young people make informed choices in their personal lives.
Currently, local authority-run state secondary schools must offer sex and relationships education, but free schools, academies and primary schools are not required to do so.