With Ireland’s non-religious population increasing, the UN recommends Ireland to provide secular, objective sex ed
A United Nations (UN) Committee has made a recommendation that Ireland should provide objective, compulsory sex education (sex ed) in it’s schools at both primary and secondary level.
The UN committee also recommended that the delivery of the revised sex ed curriculum should be monitored and evaluated closely
With most schools in Ireland affiliated with the Catholic Church, this means that the current education around sexual and reproductive health is heavily biased by the Catholic Churches teachings and values.
Alongside revised sex ed, the recommendation drew attention to the sexuality education which comes under Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) and is “left to institutions to deliver […] according to the schools’ ethos and values”
In recent times, an increasing number of people are electing to detach themselves from the Catholic Church, or religion in general, the results of the most recent Irish census reveal, making the Catholic bias in how sex ed is delivered problematic.
This bias becomes even more troublesome for LGBT students in light of the Catholic Church’s stance on LGBT sexual relations, which continues to preach that not acting on same-sex attraction is the best course of action.
Preliminary results of the 2016 census indicate that the number of people who ticked ‘No religion’ on last year’s form nearly doubled compared to the 2011 figure, with almost half a million people selecting this option.
This brings those who don’t practice religion to just under 10% of Ireland’s population (9.8%), and a larger portion of the population than any other, bar Roman Catholic which saw a sharp 5.9% drop in the latest figures.
Atheist Ireland pointed out to the UN Committee in a Submission that sex ed is delivered in accordance with the ethos of the school’s Patron.
While the State delegation from Ireland informed the UN about sex ed in Irish schools, it neglected to divulge to the UN Committee that for the vast majority of schools in Ireland the Patron is the Catholic Church and the subject is taught in accordance with their ethos and values.
Atheist Ireland plans to continue to fight for the right of children to objective sex education.