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NHS redirecting readers towards sexual exploration

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NHS redirect on ‘saying no’ to sex

Christian Concern has discovered that within the last year the NHS has begun redirecting two formerly public webpages about sexual health, titled ‘It’s OK to say no’ and ‘Peer pressure’, to a new article entitled ‘15 things you should know about sex’.
People accessing the original two pages – which gave readers advice on how to say ‘no’ to sex – are now redirected to new content advising on matters including oral sex and sexual positions. This means previous advice on “saying no” to sexual intercourse is now redirected to tips on “the best way to make sure you have safer sex.”

The original page on ‘saying no’ suggested that people should wait until they are older, or at least until they feel ready, to have sex. It said that, “the average age for having sex for the first time is 16, and not everyone does it at that age. Some people wait until they're older, so you're not the only one saying no.”

The original ‘Peer Pressure’ page encouraged people to build healthy relationships first and foremost, arguing that “good relationships start with friendship, and trust builds from there”.
 

A new message

Now, a search of the NHS Live Well – Sexual Health website for ‘saying no’ suggests a page entitled ‘Are you ready for sex?’. After clicking on this page, advice is given saying, “You need to decide whether you want to have sex. Don't let someone else decide for you by just going along with it.” It then goes on to a whole set of questions dedicated to making sure you know “the time may be right”, including “Does it feel right? Do I love my partner? … Have we got contraception organised to protect against pregnancy?”. If the answer is yes, apparently you are ‘ready’.

But not only does this new content cheapen sex and appear to encourage young people to engage in it if it ‘feels right’, it gives tacit approval to children below the age of consent having sex, assuring under-16s that they “can get confidential contraceptive and sexual health services, including advice about an unplanned pregnancy” and that they “can get free condoms from some GPs, community contraceptive or young persons' clinics, and Brook services”.
 

Nothing new

Teaching people to ‘say yes’ to sex outside of marriage is not a new trend. Nor is the move to a language of self and sexual exploration, which reframes the issue of sexual intercourse to be one of self-discovery (even for young children) rather than one of self-control. In fact, this is not the first time Christian Concern has observed the NHS reframing sensitive issues on their website. Back in August of 2017, Roger Kiska commented on the NHS’ shifting language on euthanasia, abortion, gender ‘reassignment’, sexual orientation and sexual activity:

"It is fascinating to go back in time and see how the NHS portrayed issues such as abortion, assisted suicide and gender reassignment only a few short years ago compared to how they do so today. What is clear is that they have acted with intentionality in moving away from objective, or at least even-handed, descriptions of these things in an effort to socially indoctrinate people who visit their websites.”
 

Reframing sexual ethics

It is clear that the NHS is redirecting individual attention from content that suggests sexual intercourse is an activity one can abstain from, to an activity one should investigate further, no matter one’s age. The language of medical culture in the UK is changing each year to be a language of self-discovery, rather than a language of self-control.

Joe Boot, Director of the Wilberforce Academy, argues that sexual language and thought have been changing since the times of the French Revolution, gradually moving further away from biblical truth. He states that within the last forty years, with the introduction of ‘gender mainstreaming’, sexual ethics and practice have become far more self-centred. Judith Butler, a feminist in the 1980s, went so far as to argue that a person’s identity is centred around their ‘orientation’ – in short, it is all about having the sexual freedom to explore in order to define who you are. These are the ideas that the NHS appears to be moving towards.
 

How should Christians approach sex?

By being self-controlled. In Genesis 2:24 God implies that sex (part of becoming ‘one flesh’) is to be enjoyed within the boundaries of marriage, which means that outside of marriage self-control is of the utmost importance. Joseph displayed this kind of self-control, and devotion to God’s standards of sexual morality, when he fled from Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39). This is carried on into the New Testament, for example when Paul teaches that Christians are to devote themselves to pleasing God (Romans 12:1-2), rather than themselves.

Also, Christians do not define who they are, and how they should behave, by the world’s ever-changing will and language; but rather, it is God who defines who Christians are, and how they should behave, and his will and word never change, as Isaiah stated and the apostle Peter reaffirmed (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25).

Which means, the way Christians enjoy God’s gift of sex is not through ‘sexual-exploration’, but rather through self-control and redirecting our devotions to God, while waiting until marriage. But, until then, saying no to sexual intercourse.

 

Links

Read the NHS page ‘15 things young people should know about sex’
Read Roger Kiska’s comment piece on NHS Social Indoctrination
Read Joe Boot’s first article on Revolutionary Sexuality (Part 1)
Read Joe Boot’s second article on Revolutionary Sexuality (Part 2)
Read more about the Normalisation of underage sex

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