Misleading headline

Shock! Horror! Evil! etc. as the Telegraph splashes the following headline in massive print over its front-page a couple of days ago.

Children of nine may get sex advice packs

Imagine the expressions of fear on the Tory-inclined readers' faces as they read that kids are getting nigh-on-pornographic books promoting going out and getting their fellow 9 year olds diseased and pregnant (well, maybe, read the sex advice pack for possibilities). No doubt it includes graphic illustrations of "dirty sanchez" et al. How on earth could a responsible Government allow this?

Well, let's actually read the rest of the story. Firstly the topics are more likely going to be along the lines of sex, relationships and contraception, and the Poorhouse suggests probably the more boring end of the topics. Heaven forbid children receive education of any form.

Secondly and more tellingly, the proposal isn't actually that "Children of nine may get sex advice packs", but rather, to quote the first line of the article:

Parents could be sent sex advice packs when their children reach the age of nine, under a controversial new drive to cut teenage pregnancies being considered by the Government.

(emphasis added).

Yes, parents. Parents probably aren't nine years old. Therefore children on nine will only get these packs if their parents give them to them rather than use them for what they are intended for - to "tell parents how to teach their children about sex, relationships and contraception". Therefore if the Telegraph parents are so disgusted with the idea of children of nine getting sex advice then they can follow the instructions and not give them the books, but rather use them as a guide to how to talk to them about it now and in the future, as they themselves regard appropriate..

This probably isn't actually a secret Government scheme to turn the children of our great nation into nymphomaniacs after all. The Telegraph's headline writers on the other hand would seem to be in a secret scheme to ensure that the headline does not match the story.


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