Should gender be part of sex education?

One of New Zealand First’s election commitments is to “restore education and stop indoctrination by removing gender ideology from the curriculum”.

Currently there are guidelines for teaching relationship and sexuality education (RSE). 

The Ministry of Education recommends teaching years 4 to 6 about “stereotypes about relationships, sexuality and gender, and how these affect wellbeing”.

While secondary school curriculum teaches students about “the influence that society has on the way we view things like gender and sexuality”.

RSE is compulsory but how it is taught is up to the school board and leadership in consultation with the community.

NZ First candidate Lee Donoghue told NZ Herald there is a “woke virus” and the education system has led to the “ever-increasing sexualisation of children”.

He said teaching “gender ideology” resulted in an “unhealthy resentment for oneself, culture, our country, affecting our nation’s future productivity, harmony and overall health”.

In response, Education Minister Jan Tinetti said: “Gender indoctrination is not part of the national curriculum, and I want to acknowledge the harm this misinformation has caused some of our kids.”

National deputy leader Nicola Willis recently told a public meeting that sex education was a job for her and her husband “based on our values and our views of the world…I want my education system focused on teaching my children how to read, how to write and how to do maths”.

An ACT spokesperson said: “ACT believes it should be up to parents, teachers and communities to determine what is being taught in their schools. Education has to be about setting children up for a bright future, not blindly following whatever curriculum has been set out by Ministry bureaucrats."

Green’s education spokesperson Teanau Tuiono told Re: News: “I think the fuddy duddies from NZ First are just going for that reactionary vote, which is incredibly disappointing. They are trying to create an issue where there wasn’t one.”

Te Pati Māori told Re: News it “does not support what NZ First are calling for and do not think this rhetoric is worthy of being platformed”.

More stories:

Do voters feel like youth crime is getting worse?

We asked them if the issue will affect how they vote in the upcoming election.

The convoy returns to Parliament

Several groups involved in the convoy occupation of Parliament returned today.

People tell us the last time they went to the dentist

“If it was free, fucking oath, I’m there.”

- YouTube

Election Showdown '23

Stay informed on the biggest issues affecting rangatahi in the 2023 NZ General Election.