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Showing posts from 2012

Review of BBC3 "Unsafe Sex in the City"

BBC3 takes a frank look at how a sexual health clinic operates in Manchester. Following a number of young people as they go through the process of testing, waiting, getting results and then if needed getting treated. Mixing true life stories and high quality sexual health advice this show has the power to do some good.  Revealing some shocking attitudes in the youth. Especially in regards to condom use. By both males and females. Plus the voice over guy has some great one liners. You can see the shows official page here and if you live outside the UK and want to watch this show have a quick look at TunnelBear .  "I love dripping willies,becausethen you know what they have"For me the best part of the programme is seeing how the staff are professional and friendly. I really hope and believe that this programme will help increase the number of people going as now they have an idea what will happen. The mystery of sexual health clinics keeps so many people from darkening their do…

Notes from Esteem Conference

Please make use of all these notes/links from my session today at the Esteem Resource Network Conference looking at the topic "Let’s talk about porn"

Firstly my presentation






Why talk about Porn? on Prezi
Documents

Sheffield Centre for HIV and Sexual Healthwith Brook, FPA, The National Youth Agency
People and Pornography - A Briefing for Workers

NSPCC sexting study
Summary report of the qualitative study
Full report of the qualitative study

McAfee The Digital Divide: How the Online Behavior of Teens is Getting Past Parents 
Digital Divide

BBC Newsbeat Survey 
Men worried about Porn


Sex Education Vs Pornography statistics taken from show episodes, they are currently unavailable but you can find useful stuff at theirsexperince website

Youtube clipfrom Friends episode about the need to turn off the porn


Books
I may not agree with everything in these books but they have some interesting bits.

Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain
William M. Struthers 

Pornland: How Porn Has Hi…

50 Shades of Grey reading by a Sex and Relationship Educator

Thoughts on how SRE workers may have to respond to it with young people. 

I have just finished reading 50 shades of grey. As a youth worker and sex and relationship educator I felt it was important to have an informed opinion before September when teenagers/young people might ask me questions in lessons and youth clubs. I'm a little behind the trend but spending 12 weeks travelling did take me out of touch. I have always thought it is crucial to read a book itself before commenting on it. So even though it is not my typical book I thought it was important to read it. 

To be clear this book was not written for young people, it is not meant to be read by young people and I don't believe E. L. James would be happy for young people to read it. But in my experience young people love to consume (watch, read, listen) media that adults do not want them to read. Either as a form of sexual exploration or out of rebellion or for many other reasons young people have always wanted what is …

BBC report lack of HIV awareness - dangers

I was reading this article today Campaigners say the young don't know enough about HIV on BBC Newsbeat. This is a key concern for myself in my work and not something that should be quickly ignored. From my experience awareness of HIV is dropping, even in just the 5 years I have been teaching on HIV. I talked about this in a blog post in February. Young people really don't seem to have a decent level of understanding they mistakes and myths they believe have two dangerous consequences. 
Consequence one - stigmatization
Stigmatization of HIV+ population continues. It is the simple everyday myths that can do the most harm. "HIV can be passed by sharing cutlery/cups/bathroom/holding hands". When people think HIV is infectious like the common cold they get scared, combined with fears of AIDS being terminal this fear turns to stigmatization. Pushing HIV+ people (or suspected HIV+) away from mainstream society. As levels of awareness remain low then communities will continue …

Sexual Health issues in Thailand and the UK

Both Thailand and Great Britain share a number of the same issues in Sexual Health but these issue express themselves in different ways. I want to learn from the situation in Thailand, especially how people are responding, to improve my work in the UK. I have just returned from a 12 week trip around South East Asia as part of this trip I visited a number of projects in Cambodia, see previous posts and I spent a month in Thailand. In Thailand I visited three projects all tackling different sexual health issues. "The House of Grace" A HIV orphanage, "The Tamar Centre" helping people who wish to leave the commercial sex trade and "ACET Singburi" a schools based prevention programme and HIV+ home visit team.

Traveling around South East Asia I became aware of a number of cultural differences that permeate society and impact sexual health in complex ways. I cannot claim to understand the social sexual health situation from such a short trip but I have taken not…

Thailand "safe snax" t-shirt

Something a bit differant today. I'm in Thailand visiting a HIV orphanage and education project that is also linked with my work with ACET in the UK. I'm going to post a full account later. But today I just wanted to share with you this image. Walking through a Thai supermarket we found this tshirt. "Practice safe snax, always use a condiment" I found it funny, Michelle loved it and so did our hosts. A married couple both over 70, missionaires who have been in Thailand 40+ years and who have spearheaded amazing HIV prevention and care work. Inspiring people to stay with.

Empowering sex workers who want to leave the industry - Daughters of Cambodia

The final Project I visited in Phnom Penh was Daughters of Cambodia a organization reaching out to victims of sex trafficking in Cambodia. Looking at this project and the two other sexual health related projects in Phnom Penh has made me think about writing an awareness resources for use in British school. Not sure if this would be a lesson, a part of a lesson or an assembly. Need to put some thought into it but I'm sure it would be positive for young people to gain a broader perspective.  


Daughters of Cambodia looks to work with individuals who want to get out of the commercial sex industry but feel themselves trapped. The project outlines two areas of need for those wanting to get out of the industry, internal capacity (Emotional healing, self esteem and confidence) and external resources (being able to still provide food for a family for example). Using this two pronged approach Daughters of Cambodia seeks to help women (and a number of male ladyboy prostitutes) who want to lea…

Two sexual health projects in Cambodia

Chab Dai is a project that instead of being just a single project, works as a coalition. A coalition of over 50 projects all working with the issue of Human Trafficking. 


The issue of human trafficking is not limited to one country or continent but is a global issue, yet in each country it will have its own specific styles and issues. In Cambodia poverty is a huge driving factor in people ending up being trafficked. 


The sensationalised media accounts of trafficking usually shows people being snatched and dragged away in chains. This is far from the common way people end up in the trade. Helen Sworn (the coalitions International director, who we got to meet and talk with) estimated that less then 2% of trafficked people have that sort of experience. Most trafficked individuals are trapped by much more subtle approaches. 


For example, a recruitment agency may be set up in Cambodia that will send out recruiters into the countryside, to poor rural villages. When at these villages they will …

Naming modern SexEd. Does the name matter?

What's in a name?I regularly run into the problem of giving a concise but comprehensive name to the work I try to do about sexual health and wellbeing (see I just tried to summerise it in 4 words) but every term I use seems to fall short of fully explaining the field. Every worker in this field of knowledge of biological, sociological, emotional, technological and probably some more -icals related to reproduction has their own personal favourites. My favourite is Sex and Relationship Education. Short and simple but not necessarily very complete in covering all I work on when I have lessons covering individual self esteem, sexting and the distortions of pornography. Most names in the field have a history and reason for their particular emphasis. For example my favourite name for my work emphasis a core approach that I will only talk about sex as part of a larger curriculm which includes discussion on healthy relationships. I fully believe this is a key learning point for young peop…

New Preventative HIV drug approved in USA

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18030057

I was interested to read this story on the BBC website. The idea of
preventing HIV with drugs is something some HIV researchers have been
looking at for years with the holy grail; of an effective HIV vaccine.
Some may see this as a step in the right direction but it is lacking
some key things to make it have the global impact we need. Firstly it
is not cheep this will not be an option for the thousands of people
living lives of risk across the world who do not have the income to
afford this drug. Secondly the regime needed to be effective is 100%
adherance (an impossible standard) and thirdly I think any method of
preventing HIV needs to be instigated world wide to all at risk people
at the same time. This drug will not produce herd immunity. It will not
protect the most vulnerable. I also think it will increase
misunderstanding about HIV. All in all im not a fan

Sexting? Blaim Parents and tech companys

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-17853498Read this artcle on BBC newa about facebook and age limits and I was a little surprised to see it went on to talk about sexting. The stream of the article seems to flow along the lines of. Tech companys have released dangerous tools and should do better to protect people and parents are failing to help their children deal with these modern issues. Now firstly I agree tech companys should have some level of responsibilty and seeing them invest in prevention advertising would be great (or even better support charities working with young people with this issue). However, its not all their fault. Blaiming parents seems like a particulary easy cop out for the government. That way they get to publicaly acknowledge the problem but dont have to do anything. No where in this article does it mention the role schools could play in educating young people and the idea of young people taking responsibilty for their actions. I passionatly believe that scho…

Love in the Hunger Games

Fighting for love?





I love dystopian future stories. I don't know maybe there it is the part of me that loves to watch how things might fall apart. From the bleak Joss Whedon Firefly and Dollhouse TV shows or the amazing Metatropolis anthology to this new trilogy of books and 1st film the Hunger Games. By Suzanne Collins this triology explores a bleak near future where America has collapsed and ruled with an Iron Fist the capital city holds 12 districts under its thumb treating them as slave labour. Barely able to survive, working back breaking jobs the vast majority of the population serve the few rich capital city dwellers. As part of the capitals drive to keep the districts under heal and broken they city forces each district to select 2 young people to fight to the death in a televised event called the Hunger Games. The games themselves unfold in a very similar way to the 2000 Japanese film Battle Royale but the world they are set in is significantly different. Sarah Hall has wr…