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Group backs calls for sex education changes

A YOUTH group specialising in teen pregnancy and other issues around vulnerable young people has backed calls by MSPs for a radical approach to sex education and contraception.

Doubts were expressed by the Catholic Church, who said "more of the same" was not going to turn round Scotland's record on teenage pregnancy. However, Hawys Kilday, chief executive of relationships and sexual health service for young people at charity Caledonia Youth, said: "At Caledonia Youth, we believe that the issue of teenage pregnancy is complicated and complex."

Stressing that the current approach was not working, she said: "Increased emphasis is needed on a range of factors that impact upon teenage pregnancy, not least relationships, self-esteem, coercion, emotional intelligence, life chances, education and deprivation."

But she said the current policy for dealing with this was a "sticking plaster approach" and claimed a much more sophisticated approach, which recognised the complexities of young people's behaviour, had to be taken on board. Ms Kilday said: "Scotland's Sexual Health Strategy places particular emphasis on frontline clinical services and, whilst we appreciate the importance of these, in practice, this could be described as 'a sticking plaster' approach.

She added: "The time has come to place an increased emphasis on preventative measures."

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