Children as young as five should be taught to understand the pleasures of gay sex, according to leaders of a taxpayer-funded education project.
Heads of the project have set themselves a goal of ‘creating primary classrooms where queer sexualities are affirmed and celebrated’.
The ambition was revealed in documents prepared for the No Outsiders project run by researchers from universities and backed with £600,000 of public money provided by the Economic and Social Research Council.
The stated purpose of the project – which is operating in 14 primary schools – is to stop bullying and prejudice aimed at homosexuals.
However, at a seminar at Exeter University tomorrow, supporters of the group will go beyond the anti-bullying agenda and discuss ‘pleasure and desire in educational contexts’.
A document prepared for the seminar and couched in convoluted academic jargon says: ‘The team is concerned to interrogate the desexualisation of children’s bodies, the negation of pleasure and desire in educational contexts, and the tendency to shy away from discussion of (sexual) bodily activity in No Outsiders project work.
‘The danger of accusations of the corruption of innocent children has led team members to make repeated claims that this project is not about sex or desire – and that it is therefore not about bodies.
‘Yet, at a very significant level, that is exactly what it is about and to deny this may have significant negative implications for children and young people.’
No Outsiders is led by researchers from Sunderland University and also involves academics at the Institute of Education and Exeter University. Books, puppet shows and plays are used to teach children about same-sex relationships.
During the project, the seminar paper says, its members have ‘challenged each other to go beyond imagined possibilities into queer practice’.
The seminar will ‘question the taken-for-granted of the supposedly sexless, bodiless and desire-less primary classroom’ and examine ‘the place of the research team members’ own bodies, desires and pleasures in this research’.
The discussions provoked a furious reaction from critics of the homosexual rights agenda. Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute said: ‘When an adult who is working in a primary school suggests that children should explore their sexuality, that should result in a complaint to the police.’
Patricia Morgan, author of studies of family life and gay adoption, said: ‘The proposal is that primary school classrooms should be turned into gay saunas. This is about homosexual practice in junior schools. The idiots who repealed Section 28 should consider that this is where it has got them.’
Project leader Dr Elizabeth Atkinson said the seminar had no connection with No Outsiders work in classrooms. ‘The seminar is part of a long-standing academic debate and has nothing to do with schools,’ she said. ‘It has no connection with sex education.’
Section 28, the law which banned the promotion of homosexuality in state schools, was repealed five years ago. Current guidance on sex education says it should not promote sexual orientation or sexual activity.