Young people in the UK are demanding better sex education, and need your help to get it.
A group of young people working with the sexual health charities Brook and FPA have penned an LGBTI inclusive sex and relationship education manifesto.
Unsurprisingly, it goes way beyond awkward conversations about periods and putting condoms on bananas.
17-year-old Toby says, ‘In 2017, learning about the sperm and the egg or how to use a condom, although important, is not enough.’
From September 2019 sex and relationship education (soon to be known as RSE in the UK) is going to become compulsory in all schools in England.
However, it’s not yet been defined, what those classes will look like.
So sexual health charities Brook and FPA have created the ‘young people’s manifesto: what we want and need from RSE.’
Crucially, young people have been creating the manifesto themselves.
Going beyond rubbers on fruit, the manifesto calls for conversations about relationships, consent, and even religion.
This is what young people want to know about sex and relationships
The 12 point manifesto calls for:
- It to be taught by qualified teachers who have specialist training in RSE
- Includes LGBTI people in lessons and conversations
- Regular lessons on the timetable
- Promotes equal and happy relationships, age appropriately
- Includes parents and families in the process
- Based on facts, and not opinions
- Shows young people where to go for help
- Promotes LGBT+ equality
- Considers the needs of everyone including those less able
- Classes to help young people understand consent and influences from religion
- Flexible to change based on young people’s feedback
The manifesto’s 12 point outline is the young people’s ‘baseline’ for ‘quality sex and relationships education’.
In short, they want the education to be LGBTI inclusive, age-appropriate and using facts – not opinions.
No guarantee new compulsory Sex Education will be LGBTI inclusive
The UK government yet to clarify whether they will include LGBTI narratives in the soon to become compulsory RSE classes.
However, 15-year-old Elise says: ‘to me, high-quality RSE is inclusive of everyone.
‘Whilst it does discuss the risks – it also talks about the positive side to relationships and sex. It should be consistent and not just a one-off lesson as a tick box.’
This year’s National Student Pride also focused on RSE. Together with the Terrance Higgins Trust they were calling on the government to make LGBTI inclusivity in sex and relationships education, compulsory.
THT’s Alex Phillips, Policy Lead for Relationships and Sex Education tells Gay Star News ‘we must now ensure the content and delivery of SRE benefit all young people wherever they go to school, whatever their sexuality.’
Indeed, Brook is calling on people all over the UK to download the young people’s manifesto, sign it and present it to teachers, head teachers and even MPs everywhere.
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