Printer Icon

Students Want More From School Sex Ed

By youthsexuality.com.au - 2016-03-17

Summary

Survey reveals students want more from school-based programs including information about violence in relationships, gender issues, and sexual diversity.

"The survey results prove that our politicians are completely out of date, particularly in the context of the ongoing national debate around the Safe Schools Coalition, Dr Ollis said."

Main Document

School-based education programs have edged out friends and parents as secondary students’ most used source of information about sexuality and relationships in a new survey by Deakin University and the University of South Australia.

The survey of 2,325 students aged between 13 – 16 years also revealed that students want more from school-based programs than just a biology lesson, with information about violence in relationships, gender issues, and sexual diversity high on the wish list.

The survey results form the basis of a new report,It’s not all about sex: Young people’s views about sexuality and relationship education, launched in Adelaide today by the Honourable Dr Susan Close MP, Minister for Education and Child Development.

The survey found that:

Dr Debbie Ollis, Senior Lecturer in Education at Deakin University and a co-author of the report, explained that the student perspective is often missing in the development and evaluation of sexuality and relationships education classes.

“To an extent, the old school methods of teaching sex education are still in place, with a focus on biological and physiological aspects, but students are telling us they want learning to extend beyond how to put a condom on a banana,” Dr Ollis said.

“They want to know more about how to handle the emotional side of relationships – respect, love, starting a relationship, breaking up, sexual pleasure, and a host of other topics.

“The survey shows that students place a lot of trust in what is taught in school programs. This means that we have a responsibility to make sure programs are relevant and inclusive.”

The survey revealed:

Dr Ollis said the survey responses showed students wanted more information about two key issues - gender diversity and violent relationships.

“The survey results prove that our politicians are completely out of date, particularly in the context of the ongoing national debate around the Safe Schools Coalition,” Dr Ollis said.

“The survey also revealed that some students regard pornography as a trusted source of information. It paints a very clear picture that if we don’t want kids to access pornography, we need school-based programs to be more explicit about what sexual relationships are all about.”

The research has been undertaken as part of the Engaging Young People in Sexuality Education Research Project funded by the Australian Research Council and supported by the Departments of Education (DECD and DEECD) in South Australia and Victoria.

More information about the research is available at the Engaging Young People in Sexuality Education Research Project website.

Comments and Discussions

Do you agree, disagree, or want to add an opinion on this topic? We welcome relevant discussions and your unique insights.

Related Information on This Topic

Cite This Document

White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault Report - The White House hosts final event focused on stopping sexual violence against students, the It Is On Us Summit


Best LGBT Friendly Colleges and Universities - College Choice Releases the Ranking of 50 Best LGBT Friendly Colleges and Universities 2016


Students Want More From School Sex Ed - Survey reveals students want more from school-based programs including information about violence in relationships, gender issues, and sexual diversity


The Parcel: Transgender Sex Worker and Trafficked Child Break Hearts - The Parcel is a book about Madhu, a retired transgendered sex worker who is asked to look after a young girl who has been trafficked into the red-light district of Bombay


Shady Grove Fertility Events: Fertility Health Education, Overcoming Infertility, Affording Treatment - Shady Grove Fertility provides latest information on fertility health, treatment options, exclusive financial programs, and how to get started growing your family


Gallup Survey Shows Over 10 Million American Adults Identify as LGBTQ - New Gallup survey reveals increase in United States adults identifying as LGBTQ - 10 million, or 4.1% of the population, compared to 8.3M 4 years ago