School sex education provider accused of 'normalising rough sex'

Sex education provider responsible for teaching school pupils is accused of ‘normalising rough sex’ with online guide that claims being ‘blindfolded and having pain inflicted’ are among the things people can do to each other

  • One contractor charges £500 a day to deliver sex education sessions at schools
  • But its online guide, aimed at over-14s, has a controversial section on ‘rough sex’ 
  • MP Miriam Cates said the content risked encouraging extreme sexual activity

A sex education provider responsible for teaching pupils has been accused of ‘normalising rough sex’.

Private contractor Bish (Best in Sexual Health) charges £500 a day to deliver sex education sessions at secondary schools.

It has testimonials from the elite fee-paying Westminster School as well as King’s College School in Wimbledon, south-west London.

But in its online guide – aimed at over-14s – a section on ‘rough sex’ claims that being ‘blindfolded, held down, hav[ing] pain inflicted… or [being] held captive are just some of the thousands and thousands of things people can do’.

Choking is listed as an activity even though non-fatal strangulation became a crime last week as it was included in the Domestic Abuse Bill.

Bish school materials also include advice around gender, with teachers told to say ‘someone’s penis’ instead of ‘man’s penis’ to be more inclusive to transgender people.

Westminster School gave testimonials to Bish, a sex education provider responsible for teaching pupils which has been accused of ‘normalising rough sex’

Relationship and sex education became compulsory in English secondary schools in 2020, with many contracting out the teaching.

But concerns have been raised over a lack of regulation, and ministers have asked the children’s commissioner for England to investigate.

Bish is run by Justin Hancock, and there is no suggestion that he promotes the website in schools, but it is freely accessible online.

Mr Hancock’s claim that rough sex is ‘pretty common with young people’ is based on a US study at one university which found one in four female undergraduates had been choked during sex.

The website states that rough sex is for consenting adults only.

But Molly Kingsley, from parents group UsforThem, said: ‘The tone and language of this site sets up an expectation that “choking” or “smacking” are just part of the rubric. That can’t be right.’

Tanya Carter, of Safe Schools Alliance, said: ‘It is impossible to understand what would motivate someone to think that conflating violence with sex in materials aimed at children is a good idea. This dangerous culture needs to be challenged not reinforced.’

Tory MP Miriam Cates said the content risked encouraging extreme sexual activity. She said: ‘Any child development expert will tell you that children are not able to process this information and it is harmful.’

Westminster School and Mr Hancock declined to comment. A King’s College School spokesman said any ‘content provided by contractors is appropriate and consistent with national guidance. We have not used Bish since 2020 and have no current plans to do so in future.’

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