Sex manuals for children axed after protests by Ladybird
Health bosses have scrapped a controversial series of books about sex for under-16s following protests from a respected publisher of booksfor children. The move came after the Scottish Maily Mail disclosed last week that the NHS had spent £40,000 on two books.
Modelled on the classic Ladybird titles, the books feature a distinctive bee logo, similar to the symbol in the Ladybird series.
The two hardback books - entitled Boys and Girls and True or False? - tell youngsters how to have under-age sex safely. They contain graphic illustrations of pupils in bed together, as well as explicit language about the mechanics of sexual intercourse. The books also tackle homophobic bullying and binge-drinking.
Last night, it emerged that Lawyers for Ladybird - famous for producingbooks such as Going to School, which are designed to helpchildren under eight to read - had complained to NHS chiefs.
The controversial sex manual for teenagers
Health bosses have been forced to assure the publisher that they will not produce any more of the titles,known as Be Books.
Thousands of copies of the two titles, which were supposed to help health workers discuss sex with youngsters, are still in circulation.
A Ladybird spokesman said: "We have made a cpmplaint and want to make clear we donot endorse the contents of Be Books."
NHS chiefs posted posted a disclaimer on a website advertising the books - aimed at 13 to 15-year-olds - making clearthey have no connection with Ladybird books.
The site also tells youngsters where to get the moring-after pill and assures them they do not have to tell parents about their sex lives.
Officials at NHS Ayrshire and Arran,NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lanarkshire say they have produced 14,000 of the two books.
A spokesman for the NHS boards involved in the Be Booksproject said: "The books donot breach copyright guidelines and the Be Books website also carries a disclaimer which makes it clear they are not associated, endorsed orconnected to Ladybird Books."
The spokesman said health chiefs had toldLadybird they 'do not have any plans at this stage to publish further titles in the Be Books series'.
The decision not to produce any more of the books was welcomed by campaigners. The Catholic church in Scotland branded the project "sinister sexual health propoganda" that appeared to endorse under-age sex.
A spokesman said:"The traditional design of the books is a wolf in sheep's clothing. What is even worse is that this wolf is in the pen - there is truly a strong, sinister stench emanating from these books.