Policy Question


What is sexuality education?

Education that promotes children's learning about themselves and others as sexual, gendered beings from biological,psychological and socio-cultured perspectives 

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Who provides the quote for sexuality education?

Goldfarb and Constantine 2011

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What are the learning domains for sexuality educat

Cognitive - The Information

Affective - Pleasure aspect

Behavioural - What happens in sex, what behaviours are right and wrong , consent etc

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What are the main approaches to formal sexuality e

Behaviour Change Approaches

Healthy Sexual Development Model

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What is the focus in the behaviour change approach

Focuses on young people who are going to be engaging in risky behaviours that may end up in teenage pregnancies and STIs.

Therefore focus is on the risk of sex

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What are the two parts of the behaviour change app

Abstinence only 

Absitinence plus

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What is Abstinence only and what approach is it fr

Behaviour change approach

Abstinence only is when children are taught to not have sex ever under any circumstances .

Taught that if they dont want the risks of sex then dont have it. 

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Where is Abstinence only often taught?

Often taught in schools in America despite America having the highest levels of teen pregnancies and STIs.

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What is Abstinence Plus and what approach is it pa

Behavipur Change Approach

Abstinence plus is the ABC approach e.g Abstinence , Be faithful and condoms

E.g Try not to have sex before marriage but if you do be faithful and only stay with one person and wear condoms.

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What does the ABC stand for in the Abstinence Plus


Be Faithful


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Where is the Abstinence plus model often taught?


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What is the healthy sexual development model?

Covers lots of aspects in relationships such as consent , communication and decision making not just sex.

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What does research suggest about the healthy sexua

That 60% of schools teaching the healthy sexual development model saw a reduction in pregnancies and STIs.

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Why don't parents like the healthy sexual developm

There is a myth that if you talk about sex it encourages it - Parents dont like it for this reason. 

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What is likely to happen if children receive inade

They may ask friends or family or they may turn to ****.

Quite damaging as not always accurate portrayals of sex and relationships

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Who publishes guidance on sexuality education?

Sex and Relationship Education Guidance 

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What quote can be used to discuss the importance o

'Effective sex and relationship education is essential if young people are to make responsible and well informed decisions about their lives' - Sex and Relationship Education Guidance 2000


'The objective of sex and relationship education is to help and support young people through their physical , emotional and moral development'

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what is wrong with the guidance published by the s

Very informational based

Not a very critical way of looking at it. 

A lot of priority on physical development and not a lot on the others. 

A lot of focus on individual responsibility and on young woman rather than men.

A lot of focus on the economy e.g teen pregnancies and stis costing the economy or if teens get prefnant they wont become succesful money makers in society

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What country has a good model in comparison to the

The Netherlands model is terrific.

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Why is the dutch model so good?

Self pleasure is celebrated

Low teen pregnancy rates

Early intervention is implemented

Relationship education and not just sex

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What does SRE guidance say about gender violence?

It does acknowledge that children experience violence but not so much on the gender aspect.

Does talk about safeguarding children but there needs to be more. 

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What is the current UK policy?

SRE is non statutory.

Schools can decide what to offer and when they do it.

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What changed in March 2017?

Significant shift in policy and guidance. Covers a lot more topics and is far more comprehensive. Was to be implemented in September 2019 but now to be implemented in 2020 as schools lack the resources or training as of now.

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What lesson often teaches SRE currently and why is


PSHE has become a dumping ground for everything that doesnt have a specific subject to attach it too.

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Who describes what education in general is for?

Educational Excellence Everywhere 2016.

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What do education excellence everywhere 2016 say a

Says that 'education is the engine of social justice and economic growth, best investment we can make in the future of our country. Vital to Britain's position in the 21st century.

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How can education excellence everywhere be critiqu

- Conceptualised education as a way to compete

-Believe education is mainly about economic growth

- Very old fashioned - Children in the 18th century were seen the same way

- If as a country we are constantly thinking about the future then we risk loosing sight of what is happening to children right now 

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Why is the english education system critiqued?

- It has a lack of justification for what is taught

- The National Curriculum is based on disciplinary knowledge;

1. Subjects are located in traditional communities of specialists 

2. Seperation between knoweldge that can be learned at school and everyday life knowledge

- There is a belief in the system that curriculum knoweldge is cognitively superior to everyday knoweldge 

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What gender socialisation happens in schools in re

- Micro processes - in classrooms, the playground , typically reinforce stereotypes 

- Girls are taught to care about their self-image and the way that boys may view them

- Boys careful define their masculinity through misogyny, sports and heteosexuality

- And none of these are being challenged as they should be through sexuality education in schools

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What do Allen 2008 and Forrest 2004 say about SRE?

Young people say that SRE should be taught earlier, occupy more time in the teaching schedule, cover more topics and be taught by external providers and not teachers.

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What research can you use to critique SRE in the U

Youth Work Ireland's study:

- Students found sex education was awkward

- Students felt they werent taught enough

Taught more about risks rather than positives 

Straight sex and no variety

Not a lot about consent or abortion etc

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What is negative about teacher's teaching SRE?

It can feel awkward as you know the teacher 

Students feel as if they cannot ask questions as the teacher knows them and may judge them

May feel like its a normal lesson in school and so do not listen as you should or would if it was an external provider

Feel embarassedK

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What is positive about teacher's teaching SRE?

You have a rapport and can folllow up with the teacher if you have a concern or any more questions

Teachers can observe what works well and what doesnt and adapt lessons

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Why are teacher's not trained adequately?

Lack of funding

Cuts by Government

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Who did research into teachers opinions of SRE? Wh

Abbott et al 2015

Teachers are given little guidance and support and so they lack confience 

They worry what parents will say and if they will complain

They feel embarassed and uncomfortable teaching to their students 

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What can SRE help young people to do?

Make informed decisions

Be more assertive 

Be more confident about thier bodies 

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What does Hester say about Sex education and gende

Schools should be building awareness of gender-based violence in schools and working with children to change attitudes towards gender equality

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What is in the new policy in 2020?

Relationship education made compulsory in all primary schools in England

Sex and Relationship education made compulsory in all secondary schools

Health education in all state-funded schools

Violence education taught in primary and IPVA in secondary 

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What is the backlash to the new policy?

Religion and religious views

Some people against LGBTQ relationships bing taught to childen

Some people think school is for academics and not for everyday life education

Some think it should be optional and not forced 

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What are the positives to the new policy?

UNCRC - Children have the right to know all information 

Helps tackle LGBT discrimination and can reduce depression, isolation and bullying

Helps children know what is right and wrong in reagrds to relationships, power, consent , sex etc 

Helps promote healthy sex and consent with open communication

Helps promote all family types

Helps to get people talking about sex and relationships - helps get rid of the taboo 

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What drives the government policies on SRE?

Public Health

Child Safeguarding

Child Wellbeing

Social reproduction

Moral Pragmatism 

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What was SRE like in the Late 1800s?

Conflict between medical rationale and the moral agenda

Focus on making the working class hygenic and focus on theri children

gov. promotion of school based sex ed to produce physical and social hygiene 

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What was SRE like in the 1900s?

School is the site for social reproduction

Thus education must be based on religious values

Moral divide again - teach only what is appropriate or discuss inappropriate sexual urges and teach how to control and repress them

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What was SRE like in the 1920s?

Public health agenda reigned

1st edition of health education handbook was published

External provider commisisoned to deliver sex ed

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What was SRE like in the 1940s?

Gov. policy was to identify sexual trasmitted diseases

if you went to the doctor with an STI, you were made to say who you had slept with so the cause of the STI could be identified 

This deterred people from going to the doctor 

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What was SRE like post war?

There was a moral panic

Focus was on the issues of teen pregnancies 

Policy aimed to tackle this 

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What was SRE like in the 1950s-60s?

Sex ed was a remedy to unwelcome extra-marital sex 

Sex ed became about coaching children towards their adulthood destiny of marriage and parenthood

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What was Sex Ed like in the 1970s?

Sex is a source of pleasure but also responsibility

Children viewed as potential sexual actors

Teachers to support students 

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What was SRE like in the 1980s-90s?

Another moral panic because of the rise in HIV and AIDS

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What did Thatchers policies include?

Focused on families

Parents were allowed to pull their children from sex ed

Schools allowed to decide curriculum as part of the Education Act

Section 28 of the Local Gov. Act - Prohibited local authorities from promoting homosexuality and promoting the acceptance on same-sex couples as a 'pretend families'. Although this did not directly affect schools it caused confusion and anxiety among educators

Teachings about HIV/ADIS became mandatory 

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What was SRE like in the late 1990s?

Labour Government

Teen pregnancy strategy - 10 yr plan to reduce it

Was implemented nationwide but with specific targets in socially deprived areas.

Sex Education was hugely pushed.  with the aim to reduce pregnancy so risk education and how to prevent it 

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What was SRE like between 2000-2017?

No new policy on sexuality but safeguarding policies did happen that stated that schools have legal obligations in relation to child protection.

Victoria Climbe Case pushed this

SEAL - 2005 - Aimed to teach children appropriate social behaviours 

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Was any policy proposed between 2000-2017?

Yes major reports from public bodies and campaigns but David Cameron shut it down in July 2015

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