Boys must be better included in sex education if attempts to tackle teenage pregnancies and increasing sexual health problems are to succeed, educators are warning.
The Sex Education Forum says in a new book that boys are missing out because parents find it hard to talk to them about sex, while lessons on the subject concentrate too much on girls.
Let's Hear It for the Boys looks at strategies for talking to boys about sex and relationships, and stripping off the mask of macho culture which stops them talking about their feelings. A conference for teachers and youth workers will be held in London next Friday.
Gill Lenderyou, the forum's senior development officer, says sex education was "historically set up by women for women". In many lessons, boys are pictured as the "bad guys" who girls are warned about. It is not helped by boys' socialisation, which from an early age teaches them to be strong and silent.
Copies of Let's Hear It for the Boys, price pound;7.50, and a free factsheet are available from the Sex Education Forum, co National Children's Bureau, 8 Wakley Street, London EC1V 7QE. For details of the conference, ring 0171 843 60416042.