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Podcast: The Birds, the Bees and Fertility Treatment - A Sting in the Tale?

23 May 2016
Appeared in BioNews 852

'If one in seven of us in the modern world is going to have problems with infertility then instead of all the teaching at school being about how to stop getting pregnant someone had better start teaching about how you do get pregnant, because there are going to be a lot of extremely disappointed people out there.'

So said the late Lisa Jardine, who began her tenure as Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority by calling for a focus on infertility in secondary education. Many others before and since have argued that it is vital to discuss (in)fertility in secondary schools, or even in primary schools.

Some disagree, arguing that fertility is not (or at least, should not be) a concern for the average child, and that the issue is at best a distraction from and at worst an undermining of the aim of avoiding teenage pregnancy (and offering options when this occurs).

This podcast, produced by Sandy Starr, documents a debate on these questions entitled 'The Birds, the Bees and Fertility Treatment: A Sting in the Tale?'. The debate was organised by the Progress Educational Trust (PET), the charity that publishes BioNews, and was sponsored by the British Fertility Society.

Listen to the podcast using the player below, or alternatively download it by clicking here (.mp3 64.5MB).

0:00:00 Sarah Norcross: Introduction from the organisers
0:03:10 Professor Adam Balen: Introduction from the chair
0:04:25 Dr Melanie Davies: A fertility clinician's perspective
0:11:05 Susan Seenan: A patient organisation's perspective
0:19:25 Helen Fraser: A schools perspective
0:27:15 Justin Hancock: A sex and relationships educator's perspective
0:36:35 Questions and comments from the audience
1:07:20 Concluding remarks by the speakers and organisers
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