A sexual health adviser to the United Nations wants to fix sex education, and she's enlisted the world's favorite animated contractor to do it. Goedele Liekens, also a TV personality and a former Miss Belgium, started a controversy when she told the Radio Times this week that "Bob the Builder" was a good place for parents to start discussing relationships with their children, Express reported.
Liekens, who's touring in support of a new program called "Sex In Class," said families should bring up the topic of sex as soon as babies learn to talk, and they should use kids' TV shows to their advantage. "I have two teenage daughters, and when they were younger we'd watch 'Bob the Builder' and I'd say, 'How do you think Bob feels about Wendy? What would they do if they were in love?'" Liekens said. "You don't have to comb over the details, just demonstrate that you're happy to be open."
In "Bob the Builder," construction worker Bob often interacts with his female business partner, Wendy. Their relationship seems to be platonic, though Bob has blown her a kiss at least once. Internet users have also speculated about their romance, or lack thereof -- "I'm confused and curious ... Are they together? Are they not?" a Babble writer wondered in 2013.
Liekens pointed to the United Kingdom's high teen pregnancy rate, saying the country has been "prudish for too long" about sex education. Sex and relationship education in the U.K. is compulsory from seventh grade onward, with curricula covering reproduction, sexuality and health. Beyond that, schools set their own policies.
Liekens argued that kids were being educated too late and inconsistently. The U.K.'s teen pregnancy rate is the highest in western Europe, beat out overall by Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia. Liekens aimed to address those issues by working with the United Nations Population Fund and expanding those classes.
Meanwhile, her comments about "Bob the Builder" were criticized on social media. See a few messages below:
SINCE WHEN DOES BOB THE BUILDER HAVE A SEX LIFE
— Kieran Jamie Lee (@littlehashtag) July 28, 2015
For the record, I watched lots of Bob the Builder episodes, and I never inferred he was smashing Wendy.
— Damita Jo (@kiaspeaks) July 28, 2015
— Jessi (@lovelyjessij) July 28, 2015
Parents should talk about Bob the Builder's sex life to toddlers? No. Stop sexualising young innocence, lefties. http://t.co/weBkkIjkuM
— David Vance (@DVATW) July 28, 2015
@WelshToy why not just let toddlers enjoy Bob the builder without being asked stupid questions??
— Dips (@Dipster3103) July 28, 2015