At 42nd Street we believe there should be zero stigma or shame around tough topics, including when it comes to sexuality and your sex education! The reason we need sex education from a young age is so we have a well-informed understanding of what healthy and nurturing relationships should look like.
Additionally, by having a clear definition of what a healthy relationship looks like, we are protecting our mental wellbeing by avoiding unhealthy relationships from a young age. Sex education doesn’t necessarily encourage early sexual experimentation, but instead, prepares us for when we are emotionally and physically ready to experience sexual activities.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of debate in the UK (and all over the world) about sex education and what children should and shouldn’t be taught…
Let’s start off with what the UK do offer in regard to sex education
From the age of 11 and onwards, relationship and sex education (RSE) is compulsory. RSE involves teaching children about reproduction, sexuality and sexual health. Even though this education is compulsory, parents or carers can withdraw their children from all RSE (apart from topics that will be in science curriculum such as; anatomy and reproductive systems).
Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) in schools include:
- Healthy relationships (family members, friendships, colleagues, intimate relationships – including marriage)
- Reproductive health (pregnancy, fertility etc)
- Contraception (STI and pregnancy prevention)
- Resisting pressure to have sex (and not applying pressure)
- Relevant laws (consent, FGM, marriage, sexual violence etc.)
To read the full Gov guideline, click here.
Like most education at school, they only teach us the basics, otherwise we would be in schools for years and years and years…
But if Relationship and Sex Education is your burning passion, we would highly recommend you do some further research.
We've pulled together a range of external organisations, resources and shows that might be worth a look at.
Here’s some amazing people online offering inclusive sex education:
And some general resources from other organisations that are also neuro-diverse inclusive:
Everyone deserves an informed and in depth understanding of what healthy sex and relationships can look like, whatever your sexuality, gender or ability.
Queer inclusive education
Due to RSE having a strict curriculum, it leaves little room to explore anything that is outside of the syllabus. Meaning topics like sexuality and gender are often excluded, leaving many people in the LGBTQ+ community without essential education around their identity.
Here are some helpful resources that offer LGBTQ+ inclusive sex education:
Disability friendly education
Unfortunately, our RSE system at the moment just isn’t inclusive enough…
Did you know, 80% of professionals delivering sex education to young people with learning disabilities struggle to find accessible resources? (Source: Brook, 2019) Leaving many people with learning disabilities with incomplete or inaccurate knowledge of relationships (including LGBTQ+ relationships), sexual health and the legal and emotional aspects of sex. (Source: Mencap)
Therefore, it’s more important than ever to create accessible Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) so everyone can have safe and healthy relationships.
Here are some inclusive resources:
Hopefully some of these organisations and resources are able to help!