Monday, January 29, 2007

Channel 4 withdraws innacurate sex ed programme

Background briefing: even Channel 4 sometimes responds to criticism.

From CFNews:
The television channel, Teachers TV, recently agreed at the eleventh hour to remove a controversial hree-part series on sex education from its schedule in response to concerns expressed by Family Education Trust (Family and Youth Concern). The series, presented by Davina McColl, entitled Let's Talk Sex, was due to be broadcast on the station on January 8-10, haying been previously broadcast on Channel 4 during March 2006. It was withdrawn after discussions between lawyers at Teachers TV and Channel 4 following the Trust's intervention.

In his correspondence with Teachers TV, Family Education Trust director Norman Wells, argued that the series contained a `lack of due accuracy' and gave 'undue prominence to views and opinions at variance with the facts', in contravention of the broadcasting code. The series was based on the false premise that sex education in the Netherlands is of a quite different character from that in the UK and that this accounted for the difference between the teenage pregnancy rates in the two countries.

Drawing on evidence contained in the Trust's report, 'Deconstructing the Dutch Utopia', Mr Wells pointed out that there is no uniform or standardised approach to sex education provision in Dutch schools, and there is a very wide variation of approaches adopted throughout the country - just as there is in the UK. In putting together the series, the presenter and production team chose to focus on the explicit end of a very broad spectrum, and leant heavily on the favoured 'hands-on' approach of a solitary 'Dutch sex education expert'.

The series attributed the Dutch 'success' entirely to `comprehensive, consistent and early' sex education, without considering any other factors that could account for the disparity between teenage conception rates in the Netherlands and the UK. Despite the fact that copies of 'Deconstructing the Dutch Utopia' and its related factsheet, 'Lessons in Dutch Mythology' were made available to the producer in the course of production, no account was taken of them in the resulting series.

The fact that Channel 4 are currently working on an edited version of the series before making it available to Teachers TV is a tacit admission that the series as originally broadcast did not comply with the broadcasting code. Given that the whole argument of the series hinges on a false premise, it is difficult to imagine how it can be edited in such a way as to make it compliant.

Copies of the factsheet, 'Lessons in Dutch Mythology: Why teenage pregnancy rates in the Netherlands are so much lower than in the UK', may be downloaded from Family & Youth Concern's website here.

For a taste of what the programming is about, see Channel 4's depraved website on 'Let's Talk Sex'.

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen