Pro-life group wants teens to ‘save sex for marriage’

Life Network had received invitations from a number of public, private, and church schools in Malta, for Challenge Team UK to deliver their presentation to a total of 800 fifth- and sixth-form students two weeks ago

Outside an MCAST school: Challenge Team UK
Outside an MCAST school: Challenge Team UK

The pro-life group Life Network is promoting a ‘save-sex-for-marriage’ roadshow in schools by a group of young activists dubbed Challenge Team UK.

The group describes itself as a group of volunteers who educate teens on “healthy sexuality” through presentations explaining why young people can choose to abstain on sex.

But the group denies spreading ‘abstinence-only education’, saying on its website that “Challenge Team promotes healthy sexuality by affirming sexuality and sex, acknowledging sexual feelings and hormones and suggesting that teens consider ‘save sex for marriage’ in order to stay healthy now and enjoy marriage later.”

Life Network chairperson Miriam Sciberras said Challenge Team was not a religious organisation, and that there is no mention of religion in the presentation. However, it would seem the message is inherently Christian: the group’s website explains that “all of those involved in the Challenge Team so far have Christian beliefs as the Christian faith promotes saving sex for marriage.”

When asked about the inefficiency of abstinence-only education, Sciberras said Maltese youths were already privy to different types of sex education during PSD (personal and social development) lessons. “Such presentations fill a gap of sorts… Others tell young people to experiment, while such groups pose the question that perhaps it makes more sense to wait.”

Sciberras said Life Network had received invitations from a number of public, private, and church schools in Malta, for Challenge Team UK to deliver their presentation to a total of 800 fifth- and sixth-form students two weeks ago.

Sciberras told MaltaToday the material displayed was age-appropriate, and that the group sends over the video-clips and information to the schools beforehand to make sure the material is acceptable to the school.

The process of setting up a talk at a school does not involve the consent of parents or schoolchildren. Instead, it is at the discretion of the school and the teachers who discuss between themselves and decide whether the group should be invited or not.

The presentations also normally take place during PSD lessons – which are obligatory for school-children.

Last year, controversy arose over a graphic abortion video shown by Sciberras during a PSD lesson for fifth-form students, after a number of parents filed complaints at the education ministry.

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