The Department of Health began to produce pamphlets about adolescents and sex in the mid-1950s. Many of these were aimed at parents, and encouraged them to think about what they would say to their children about sex – implying that teaching children and teenagers about sexuality was the responsibility of parents rather than schools. The Sex and the adolescent pamphlet produced by the Ministry of Health in the mid-1970s presents young people as involved in intimate relationships, rather than as passive recipients of 'sex education'. However, it uses the term 'adolescent' – a category applied to young people by others, rather than one with which they would identify. This suggests that the intended audience is adults rather than young people.
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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: AAFB 632 W4914 223 34/9/35
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Courtesy of Ministry of Health