I WAS surprised to read Mike Shellens’s letter (March 7) in response to mine of the previous week, in which he makes clear that he is completely out of touch with the reality of the situation regarding young people’s sexual behaviour and its devastating effects.

He has also disregarded the main points of my previous letter, which expressed my concern about the 'patient confidentiality' rules in the NHS that ban staff from seeking parents' permission beforehand or informing afterwards about issuing young people under the legal age of consent with contraception.

Perhaps some facts and figures will convince Mr Shellens how serious this situation is, as highlighted in The Mail on March 10, which states that parents are horrified and angry to think that their children, who are under the age of legal consent, are being fitted with implants and given injections, with the potential associated risks, without their knowledge. Perhaps Mr Shellens is not a parent.

In 2011, 1,700 13-14-year-old girls were fitted with implants and 800 had injections, and the 2010 NHS figures are that 3,200 15-year-old girls were fitted with implants and 1,700 had injections.

Nadine Dorris MP says: "This is a violation of parents' rights to protect and nurture their children. It is a surgically invasive procedure being imposed on children without parents' knowledge."

Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, said that, as a result of "grossly irresponsible" sex education in schools, children were becoming sexually active at an early age, when they would not otherwise have done so.

Primary schoolgirls as young as 10 are becoming pregnant, according to newly-released shocking statistics.

Between 2000 and 2007, more than a dozen girls aged 10 became pregnant. In the same period almost 40 girls aged 11 were found to be pregnant, figures released under a Freedom of Information request show.

The figures also show that there were an alarming 60,000 pregnancies of children under 16 in that period.

The number of pregnancies that ended in an illegal abortion or miscarriage is not shown. However, it is known from separate Government statistics that more than half of under-age pregnant girls have an abortion.

The Government's teenage pregnancy strategy aimed to cut the 1998 rate of teen conceptions in half by 2012, but it failed. The strategy includes handing out contraception and information about sex to young people.

Mr Shellens might find it convenient to ignore these facts, and to behave like an ostrich with his head in the sand. However, this is the reality of the situation in Britain.

It is the consequence of the over-sexualisation of childhood, and should raise alarm bells for parents who are concerned about these issues and would like to see a change in the government education strategy for sex and relationship education, as well as the practices of the NHS for the protection and well-being of their children.

But the problem goes much deeper than that and, in answer to the point he made about the 'practical alternative', abstinence and the delaying of sexual activity are the only alternative - whether culturally fashionable or not.

We would do well to look at our whole value system and lack of moral boundaries and absolutes that have shaped society and created the over-sexualised, permissive and promiscuous culture in which we now live and for which we are paying a very high price - in more ways than one.

Mrs AMANDA ABRAHAM

West End

Brampton