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Teens in 10 Countries Say Sex Education is ‘Out of Touch’

Teens in 10 Countries Say Sex Education is ‘Out of Touch’

A recent study from the University of Bristol asked teens in ten different countries about their experiences learning Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) and found that many teens feel the curriculum is out-of-touch, indicating a global missed opportunity to help young people improve their sexual health.

According to the University of Bristol, its “research team examined 48 qualitative studies on young people’s views of their school-based SRE from the UK, Ireland, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Iran, Brazil and Sweden. The participants were students aged four to 19 in full-time education, young adults under 19 (not necessarily in full-time education), or adults under 25 if recalling their experiences of school-based SRE.”

All in all, it found that most respondents had negative things to say about their experiences learning SRE in their respective schools.

Many said that SRE "created problems including embarrassment, lack of anonymity and blurred boundaries.”

The researchers say the study indicates a dire need for global efforts to recognize the importance of updating SRE.

“. . . [S]chools need to acknowledge that SRE is a special subject with unique challenges, as well as the fact and range of young people’s sexual activity. Unless they do, young people may disengage from SRE and opportunities for safeguarding and improving their sexual health will be missed,” said lead researcher Dr. Pandora Pound in the University’s press release.

Many experts argue that sex education should be taught on a broader scale to teach students about how healthy relationships with both themselves and others are related to sexual decisions.

A sexual health charity spokesman told TES Global that SRE programs should "be delivered within a wider context so that sex and relationships are linked to other issues such as alcohol and drugs."

Read the full press release here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

9/13/2016

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