Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2013

Porn on the Brain Channel 4 Documentary Review

My view of the channel 4 show "Porn on the Brain" which is all about how teenegers might be being impact by watching porn online. I have just finished watching "Porn on the Brain"   (if you live outside UK Tunnel Bear can let you watch this) a Channel 4 British documentary by a previous editor of Loaded (lad mag) Martin Daubney . In this documentary Martin looks to try and find out what is the situation of porn and teenagers. Now sometimes the show becomes a little sensationalist with phrases like "The internet brought about the end of innocence" but behind some hype is some interesting stuff. With Martin spending 15 years of his life dedicated to (soft core) pornography with his work in loaded his perspective on the porn industry is not naive, he describes himself as an "wanking expert". Early in the show he makes a judgment of how he views the changes in the porn industry.  "Porn has lost its sense of humour and become something mac

Announcing the Lets Talk About Sex Roadshow coming to Chester

Click here for EventBrite ticket 

New National Curriculum from a SRE perspective

This is my initial thoughts in response to the governments launch of a new National Curriculum. But before we get into the details its important to remember that not every school in the country will need to follow the curriculum, academies do not have to follow the curriculum. As with every curriculum their will also be a fair amount of school interpretation for any part of the curriculum that does not make it onto a test. So I believe this National Curriculum should be seen as the governments rough idea of what it thinks should be happening. I think locally things will be delivered differently depending on Head Teachers, Heads of Subjects etc. This is my quick skim through with a SRE perspective please correct me if I make any mistakes of miss something important.  ***UPDATE 09-07-13*** The Sex Education Forum has released this short response   it does a great job of providing a clear summary of the key points, much more concise than my ramblings. It also says "the Sex Ed

Update on myMP opposing compulsory SRE

After getting a brush off answer to start with I'm starting to get better response from my MP about why he does not vote for teaching young people about Consent.  This is just a short update on my previous post on my MP ( Stephen Mosley )  voting against Clause 20 which would have made SRE compulsory and explicitly made it clear we need to educate young people about Consent.  This sentence is at least a genuine answer, he is claiming their was not sufficient evidence and reasons. Now immediately after reading his reply I wanted to push all the evidence I could find at him so he could realise how wrong he was and how right it would have been to vote Yes and if wants more evidence I can direct him to loads. When tweeting about this the Sex education Forum replied offering help. @blindfishideas sounds like you are preparing your reply... There is so much evidence that SRE works.... — Sex Education Forum (@sex_ed_forum) July 3, 2013 The Sex edu

My MP doesn't explain why he opposes teaching consent in SRE

On the 11th of June the commons voted against making Sex and Relationship Education a compulsory part  of the national curriculum and specifically this amendment including the following "(1) For the purposes of this Part, personal, social and health education (“PSHE”) shall include sex and relationship education, including information about same-sex relationships, sexual violence, domestic violence and sexual consent. " My MP for Chester, Stephen Mosley was one of the MP who voted against this clause. You can read a good briefing on why this clause was so important here   by the sex education forum. This was a key opportunity to get SRE into the heart of what schools need to be providing. But MPs voted not to help young people on this issue and my MP was one of those who voted against. If you want to read more about the no vote, what it means and why it matters you can read Brook here  or read this blog post exploring how the clause may still have life in it and the p

Starbucks response about blocking Sex Education Websites

This blog is blocked in Starbucks free WiFi, I had a little poke around and found a few other SRE sites blocked (some of which now seem to have been unblocked). I sent an email to Starbucks about my concerns and today I received this reply. Always nice to get a reply but sadly it doesn't seem to actually say that much. Why is Sex and Relationship Education information blocked? Is the content of this blog a danger to young people? Dear Gareth, Thank you for contacting Starbucks. We appreciate you sharing your concerns regarding Wi-Fi in our stores and I would like to assure you that we have been working on a solution with our provider, BT, which means that customers get the right balance between the protection and the freedom they want and need online. We are close to implementing this solution and part of it will be to restrict access to sites which are not deemed appropriate to view in a busy public environment. BT has also shared the following information rega

Reflecting on training the trainers of Sex and Relationship Education

Over the last 2 weeks, for the first time I have taught a full Sex and Relationship Education trainer course. In the past I have helped out on someone elses course and have lead workshops on specific topics at events/conferences. This was the first time I took  responsibility for an entire course. The course I taught is the 4 day  Esteem Resource Network  course. This was the course I was originally trained in and 5 years and 500+ hours of classroom experience later I was now teaching the course. The course had 10 people and I loved opening up the wide field of Relationship and Sex Education to them.  On the course I had 1 co worker, 1 local church based child and family worker, 2 third year youth work students (one who has been on placement with me) and a herd of 6 second year youth work students. So basically everyone was a youth worker or similar  This helped me as it's the group of people I work with the most. I know how to relate to youth workers and know they will have

Sex and Relationship Education in Youth Work

Yesterday I was invited to speak on the Chester university Christian youth work course all about the importance of sex and relationship education, especially for youth worker. We got to cover lots of great stuff. I promised to post on here links to a couple of things I mentioned. If you are interested in attending the training I mentioned email me at  The Sex Education Forum's guide to SRE within the youth service   The Department of Health recently published  Sexual health improvement framework

Stories from a Thai HIV orphanage

Today I wanted to share a few short insights into the everyday realities for children and young people living in a HIV orphanage in Thailand. I visited this orphanage, The House of Grace, in 2012 whilst travelling around South East Asia (read my post about it here ). Like my work in UK this project is linked with ACET internationa l. Today I received an email from the project and wanted to share a few snapshots of what it is like for children and young people in Thailand being supported in The House of Grace. Funded and staffed by Christians the project provides a hope and a home for alone, rejected and something sick young people victims of HIV. Kitisak is the pastor who has dedicated his life to supporting these children and running the House of Grace. These hopefully give a snapshot of the rough and the smooth.  Arriving - Fah Nine year old Fah is one of the most recent children to join the House of Grace family. One evening, towards the end of December last year, she found he

#SASHevent2013 Coventry Uni Porn - Sexting presentation

Please make use of all these notes/links from my session today at the #SASHevent2013  Conference looking at the topic "Let’s talk about porn" Firstly my presentation 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 their   sexperince website   Youtube clip   from 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 Po

Teenagers who read 50 Shades of Grey

I have started teaching a lesson on the media's portrayal of Sex and Relationship. The lesson focuses on movies, TV shows and visual pornography. But with all the media hype around 50 Shades of Grey I wanted to do a small scale survey of young people I work with to see if the hype had any grounding in reality. Are young people reading it and is it impacting young people?  At the end of a session looking at the Distortion of Media I handed out some small surveys. Just half a dozen questions and a space for general feedback. I did this with two year groups both mixed gender. A group of year 10 students (aged 14-15) and a group of year 12 students (aged 16-17). With the older group I also asked if the book had encouraged them to experiment with "BDSM/fetish/kinky stuff" but talking with school staff it was decided not to ask that direct question to the year 10 groups. Below are some of the figures from my study, please note it is very small scale and may not reflect

Agree - Disagree Sex and Relationship Statements

Today I shared another resource listing the agree disagree statement I often use in Relationship lessons. I find agree disagree activities as a bit of a two edge sword. Sometimes they are great and sometimes they just seem flat.  I think agree/disagree activities work well if young people in the group do not all think the same. The true value in agree/disagree activities is the discussion it can stir up. The discussion is the point where young people learn things and develop their attitudes. The statements need to be crafted to try and divide opinion and stir up this discussion. When the statements do not divide group opinion then rarely will I get a good follow up discussion. The problem is that the statements that work well for one group do not work for another group.  The temptation is to try and pick truly controversial issues but I have had as much success with the historically controversial issues (abortion, porn etc) as the more standard issues (loyalty, respect, condo