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International Sex-Ed Guidelines Attacked

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A set of international sex-education guidelines proposed by the United Nations for the purpose of preventing HIV infections among young people was delayed by criticism from conservative American groups who called the draft recommendations too explicit because of their discussion of topics such as homosexuality, abortion, and masturbation.

The guidelines, scheduled to be released in final form by UNESCO next week, would be distributed to national education systems with the aim of helping teachers educate four different age groups. However, the UN agency delayed the release of the final document and is now working on a new draft for Monday, according to The New York Times.

"A draft issued in June has been attacked by conservative and religious groups, mainly in the United States, for recommending discussions of homosexuality, describing sexual abstinence as 'only one of a range of choices available to young people' to prevent disease and unwanted pregnancy, and suggesting a discussion of masturbation with children as young as 5," according to the Times article.

The changes in the publication schedule are an apparent accommodation to conservative critics who called the universal, scientific-based guidelines "culturally insensitive."

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