The Scottish government is under fire for issuing a sex survey to school children asking for intimate details about their sex lives, including if they’ve had oral and anal sex.
The survey, which was sent to students between the ages of eight and 17, was rejected by several Scottish councils, including Argyll & Bute, which expressed worries over the controversial questions and concerns that the SNP-run Scottish government would not be able to guarantee absolute anonymity for correspondents, the Helensburgh Advertiser reported.
The questionnaire, which was part of a “health and wellbeing” exercise created by the government sparked a furious backlash among local authorities and parents. The questions in the controversial survey, for students as young as 14, include whether the child has experienced “oral sex” and “vaginal or anal sex.”
The survey also asks children about how much sex they’ve had, different sexual practices, and their use of contraceptives.
The Daily Record reports that a Scottish councillor branded the study a “hugely concerning act of data gathering.”
“At best, this is totally inappropriate and intrusive,” said Hugh Hunter, an independent member of Prestwick. “These questions are best left between parents and their children or GPs and the children involved.”
“Even more disturbing is the idea that young people may in some way be identified as a result of answering such questions,” he added.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon faced pressure over the survey in parliament, where she insisted the census was “not mandatory neither for local authorities to use in full or for children, given that parents may or may not consent to their child taking part and pupils themselves can also, if they wish, opt-out of the survey.”
The non-answer was greeted with stern disagreement from conservative members of the Scottish parliament, who stated plainly that the government has no place to ask such questions to begin with.
“Instead of promoting the health and wellbeing of our children, the SNP instead ask intrusive questions which are wholly inappropriate for kids,” said Sharon Dowey, Conservative MSP for South Scotland. “I’d be horrified if my kids came home from school and told me this is what they were being asked.”
“You only have to flick through this document to see how some of these questions are just not okay,” she added. “The SNP and Labour really need to think carefully about what they are doing issuing this survey.”
Despite the backlash, the Scottish government “will not” consider withdrawing the controversial school sex survey. Twenty-four of Scotland’s 32 local authorities have agreed to utilize it, with only eight dissenting, the Scotsman reported.