‘Homophobic’ sex-education texts withdrawn from schools

THREE controversial religious education texts about teen sexuality have been withdrawn from schools by the NSW Department of Education pending an investigation.

The texts are used in the optional subject Special Religious Education.

Critics have argued the texts encourage discrimination against homosexuality and overtly scrutinise girls' sexual behaviour.

One text, Teen Sex by the Book, asks the question "is it a godly thing to wear a short skirt and low-cut tight top tempting your Christian brothers to lust?"

Another recounts a teenage girl's "recovery" from homosexuality, writing: "at 16 I became a Christian and I knew that God didn't want me to live this way".

The parent-run group Fairness in Religion in Schools had attacked the texts as "extremely damaging" and "helping to perpetuate a climate where family violence and LGBTI stigmas can thrive" until they were withdrawn by the Department of Education last week.

Sandra Handley, coordinator of the upcoming Positive Adolescent Sexual Health (PASH) conference in Byron Bay next month, said the texts were "of concern" because they risked leading young people to feel "something is wrong with them".

"It feels like this is promoting shame and could lead people to be ashamed of their sexuality," Ms Handley said.

She said the upcoming PASH conference on June 3-4 would present a very different message about sexuality and relationships.

"PASH 2015 is about young people and their supporters informing themselves about sex, sexuality and sexual health to assist them to make the best choices for themselves."



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