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Sex/relationship education in schools - discussion(14 Posts)
I was thinking the other day, the focus on sex/relationship education in schools all seems to be on the sex aspect, and reducing teenage pregnancy, increasing teenagers' respect for themselves and encouraging responsible behaviour all seems to be concentrated on the issue of sex. Would it not be more beneficial to concentrate more on the relationship side of things? For example instead of putting so much emphasis on specific sex acts (e.g. penetration) could we not teach how to say no when you feel uncomfortable about anything, that any sex act should be mutually enjoyable, etc. Also the warning signs of controlling/abusive relationships, why isn't this currently covered?
I agree. I volunteer for a Christian Youth Trust and most of our teenagers think you go out with someone for sex and forget that you might actually have to like them. Saying that, some have been with their boyfriend/girlfriend for ages and haven't had sex with them. In my experience, the school teaches them about sex, we teach them about everything else. The main problem is if the youngsters don't talk to youth workers and also don't have parents who discuss such matters. It's almost back to 'role models'.
I got married last year and they're all fascinated by my relationship-most say they'd like marriage in the future but would rather have sex now.
With my DSS we try to teach him about emotions and being nice to people as he goes along. Hopefully then when he has a relationship he might want one like ours as he's seen it works and makes us happy. He's very amused by us kissing and often does 'long kisses' with us-his Godfather was rather scared by this at the weekend!
I dont know where you are but I know about the sex ed in Scotland and it seems really good.
They have a lesson called "Health" which starts age 5 and they taught about relationships, emotions etc.
They make sure that words like vagina, penis etc are used regularly so the kids are not embarrassed by them.
It moves on year by year and I know that my ds (9) has now been taught about periods, wet dreams, reproduction etc but alongside discussing emotions etc.
I am quite happy with it.
I have to agree with stirlingthestrong
I am a teenager still so remember my sex ed very well and have to say that EVERYTHING is discussed as you go through the years.
It is helpful and imformative in all aspects.
I have to say, even if only sex is discussed, kids DO talk about relationships between them. It is a steriotype that kids are so sex orientated. That is just what they let the adults hear so they feel grown up and 'in the know'.
And the saying 'No' thing is never dropped, repeated over and over again, so i wouldn't worry about that!
Well I'm only 21 So I do remember what the sex education was like when I was at school. I just think, looking back, that it was all very focused on sex, and although I would discuss relationships with friends none of us really knew what a healthy relationship was and I got most of my ideas about love and relationships from song lyrics! Saying no to sex was covered, a lot, but it all seemed to relate to sex in itself and there was no mention of boys using emotional blackmail to get sex which is really hard to deal with when you are that age.
Maybe it is better in Scotland though I am not in Scotland so I don't know what the difference is there. Did you find that controlling/abusive relationships were covered? I don't think it was here and I think it would really help if it was. I thought for ages that a relationship was only abusive if there was violence involved which is not always the case, and people who have controlling relationships are quite often from families where the parents' relationship is unhealthy, so there is no guidance there... I just think it would help to break the chain, not sure what anybody else thinks?
I'm early 30's, and our sex ed encouraged the myth that "everyone else is doing it". We were basically taught the mechanics of it, LOTS about STD's and protection, how to shout loudly "NO" if we were attacked on the street and raped, and were given condoms to put on carrots, and more to take away with us (condoms that is, though I'd have rather had the carrots!)
Thankfully I had parents who talked about relationship and sex (in that order) at home. I'm glad I waited until I had left school, was in loving relationships etc.. to have sex. But so many of my friends didn't, and it was all those whose parents didn't discuss it with them, their only knowledge of sex came from magazines, friends and schools. Several friends didn't finish their GCSE's as they got pregnant, and another had an embarrassing STD... that put me off for a few years!
Personally, I am tempted to keep my DC out of sex education classes, as mine were so counter-productive.
Cherrychoc - I think covering abusive relationships would be excellent.
Absolutely brilliant idea.
Focus on how men and women see relationships differently and similarly would be great. Abusive relationships and how to prevent them would serve our youth well. Mabe also how to respect each other sexually would be a good idea too.
I'm happy to do all those things with my children myself, and have and continue to do so. But the schools that my children have gone to have done lots about friendship values and being true to yourself (my children are 10 and 8) all of which are as valuable when thinking about friendships and early relationships as they are for teenagers.
Ds is having the sex ed talk at school next week I think and it being a Catholic school, they are talking a lot about relationships/marriage and the like. I'm dreading it. I think I'm dreading it anyway!
Well, it is called SRE (Sex and Relationship Education, and as far as I know, they do cover relationships already...
Where's our resident SRE expert, Thandeka?!!!!
Women's Aid have an excellent education toolkit called Expect Respect which is usable right across school ages. It does cover different types of abusive relationship so it would be clear that there's more to saying no than just saying no, but how to deal with the pressure too.
It is an embarrassment to talk about such things with 'innocent' children. I try to answer my son as openly and as honestly as possible about anything he asks on any subject, but I still cringe a lot!
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