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Challenges in Sex and Relationship Education. What are the challenges? The context of health inequalities in the UK The cultural factors – the British.

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Presentation on theme: "Challenges in Sex and Relationship Education. What are the challenges? The context of health inequalities in the UK The cultural factors – the British."— Presentation transcript:

1 Challenges in Sex and Relationship Education

2 What are the challenges? The context of health inequalities in the UK The cultural factors – the British way – focus on the “wrongs” Decision makers in schools The Mass Media as they currently represent sexuality and sex

3 EVIDENCE BASE BMA, HEA and the Sex Education Forum (1997) Teenage Pregnancy Unit (1999) TP Strategy DFEE (2000)(now the DFES) Guidance Document National Strategy for Sexual Health and HIV (DoH 2001) PHLS (2002) and Ofsted (2002) Sex and Relationship Education

4 Independent Advisory Group on Teenage Pregnancy first annual report, November 2001 available to read on this site

5 Messages “not getting through” e.g. “ … sex education … would seem to be failing. Research indicates… sex education… piecemeal, and … connections between information and behaviour and consequence are 'not getting through'” Source: Scottish Executive

6 Countries reporting low or falling teenage pregnancy rates also seem to promote and provide Healthy sex education Teenagers Access to services Confidence Building A more level social system, fewer inequalities


8 Young men Only recently receiving attention and involvement in SRE and in parenting education Increasing emphasis on boys and responsibilities Challenging stereotypes Supporting young men

9 Availability of & Information about Contraception From one end of the country to the next there are inconsistencies e.g. Can all young men get free condoms? Does the cost of progestogen only emergency contraception vary Do all A & E services offer POEC Are there combined GUM and Contraception services nationwide? Does every town have young person’s health Drop-in / YPA services

10 Information about and Accessibility of Services From one end of the country to the other there are inconsistencies in the level of service and accessibility to teenagers e.g. City v rural issues Confidentiality Personal attitudes of professionals determine the extent to which Fraser Guidance is applied

11 Raising Expectations of Young People Improving Health Improving Learning Of Teenage Mothers And Fathers And Their Children Strengthening Families And Communities Improving Social And Emotional Well Being

12 Improving Health, for example To increase the number of pregnant teenagers in contact with health services by 14 th week of pregnancy – positively promote services and parenting skills learning in school To reduce the number of teenage mothers smoking during and after pregnancy needs foundation in school and home

13 Making the services attractive Promoting pre-conception care as a priority (especially smoking, diet and alcohol)

14 Raising awareness of lifestyle and its relationship to the following…. Increase in % of teenage mothers breastfeeding for 6 weeks Reduction in proportion of low birth weight babies to teenage mothers Reduction in rate of unplanned repeat conceptions particularly amongst under 18s

15 Improving Learning Improving learning of teenage mothers and fathers and their children – valuing education and raising expectations Increase in % of teenage mothers participating in education and obtaining qualification at NVQ level 1 or above – valuing qualifications

16 Young men and young women learn about childcare Increase in % of children of teenage mothers and fathers having access to good quality play and learning experiences Increase in % of teenage mothers and fathers who read to their children

17 Strengthening Families And Communities To increase the percentage of teenage mothers who report involvement of their family, father of their child or partner in their child’s upbringing

18 Reduction in incidence of family break up Decrease in % of children of teenage mothers and fathers registered on child protection register Reduction in incidence of domestic violence Increase in attendance by teenage mothers and fathers at parenting classes

19 Improving Social And Emotional Well Being Increased identification and appropriate support of all teenage mothers with post natal depression Reduction in post-natal depression in teenage mothers

20 The Role of Contraception Education SRE is important, but not as important as wider determinants. The most significant impact would be made by levelling inequalities – in education this would be raising expectations and building self esteem I.e. run through the whole of the PSHE / Citizenship curricula

21 Nevertheless…. SRE still needs good resources and Contraception Education is attempting to supply some of these and link to many others via Resources now include:

22 Contraception the Board Game The mechanics of sex The importance of communication in relationships Expectations of relationships and life Protection from unwanted incidents e.g. Sex under pressure, infection, pregnancy

23 The Safer Sex Kit The Compact Contraceptive Kit Condom demonstrator Female and male condoms Dams Finger cots Water based lube Sexplained…2© Placebos, models and OTC contraceptives

24 The video and CD Rom THE VIDEO Four professionals and three teenagers give their perspectives on contraception, being pregnant at school, having a STI and having an abortion CD Rom version of “Contraception”

25 Resources Links Downloads News Quizzes and activities On-line info

26 One final challenge – the Moral argument “ …….. based on the premise that under-age children will indulge in sex…. oblivious of the fact that this assumption will encourage youngsters to believe under-age sex is fine - or at worst morally neutral” Letter to the Times about Contraception the Board Game

27 Press releases from opponents to SRE “ Seldom in this degraded society are the hard bitten volunteers stunned………This week saw a watershed of perversion and child abuse...more suitable to an Anne Summers Sex Party than a class full of children” “This game is just corrupting. The idea is for children to work their way around a board using counters in the shape of different contraceptives. In any other setting an adult who asked a child to play a game like this would be arrested”

28 Are we ready to take on the challenges? Thankyou for listening

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