Marie Stopes International runs one of the most aggressive marketing campaigns I have ever encountered, from TV ads on abortion to youth-friendly JibJab style cartoons depicting sexual scenarios, from World Cup themed vasectomy ads in cabs to the latest SexFactor (playing off the uber-popular UK talent show, The X Factor).
MSI, in their efforts to become the primary source of contraceptives, reproductive surgery and abortions, have now taken it upon themselves to be the first to “educate” the children of Manchester about the birds and the bees.
Marie Stopes International is hosting SexFactor for 200, 15 year olds from local Manchester schools to give them all the facts about how to avoid unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexual assault.
SexFactor will be a fun, interactive day with workshops on sex and relationships being held at the Lancashire County Cricket club today.
Louise Brennan, Clinical Lead at Marie Stopes International’s Manchester clinic said:
“The research is very clear; where sex and relationships education is taught in conjunction with contraceptive services, young people are more likely to delay their first sexual experience, practice safe sex and are less likely to have an unplanned pregnancy or contract an STI.
“Many of the students attending SexFactor, previously have not received any sex or relationships education. So this is about arming young people with the information to protect themselves against unplanned pregnancy and STIs, to respect each other and to have the skills and knowledge to have safe sexual relationships.
“We have received requests from teachers to visit their schools to teach sex and relationships education because students have become pregnant. Many teachers are telling us they don’t feel they have the training or information to properly teach comprehensive sex and relationships education.
“Marie Stopes International calls for the Government to make the teaching of sex and relationship education compulsory and to fund the proper training of teachers, but in the meantime we are helping local schools.”
School boards are elected by their communities. MSI, as a non-gvernmental organization, answers to no one but themselves. So is it really about teaching children to “respect each other” (which I find difficult to imagine for 15 year olds at an event called SexFactor), or is it about getting them familiar with the brand name?by