Tuesday, 19 November 2013

#bedn- Newsflash

It was too tempting to focus this blog on the article making it's way around social media about the guy from Manchester who went for a night out in Oldham and woke up in Paris because that is my favourite story of the day (I am definitely taking my passport and annual pass for Disney out with me next time I go out). However, I decided I'd be a little bit more educated and talk about sex!
It was inevitable at some point in this challenge that I hit on youth work and sex. For those who don't know I'm in my third year at university studying Theology & Youth work- as part of this I'm undertaking a placement for a charity called Chester School's Christian Work and I'm a trained sex and relationships educator. 
It's one of my biggest passions and sometimes people need to shut me up because I will talk about STIs and such at the most inappropriate times. Sorry, not sorry!

So, I thought I'd talk about last week's call to lower the age of consent. You can find a video and brief overview on the story : Here.

But in summary,a leading public health expert: Professor John Ashton (strong name) is calling for the lowering of the age of consent (which is 16) because countries which have a more open attitude towards sex and a lower age of consent show signs of young people getting involved with sex later on and lower teenage pregnancy rates. The Prime Minister has rejected this call. 

I'm not very political, but I have to say I'm in agreement with David Cameron right now, but actually I also agree with John Ashton (fickle? me!) 

I don't think the age of consent should be lowered, because I don't think it's necessary. 

The second National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal 2000), which included over 11,000 men and women aged 16–44 in Great Britain, found that:
  • the average (median) age at first heterosexual intercourse was 16 for both men and women
  • nearly a third of men and a quarter of women aged 16–19 had heterosexual intercourse before they were 16
(Statistics taken from Here).

Ok, so people ARE having sex before 16, I'm not naive. But, I don't think that's the real issue. But, I DO think the real issue is what Prof John says at the start of his argument: we aren't talking about sex enough!
You know the phrase education is power? Yea, it's true! 
If we educate young people from a young age than they have the power to make decisions and also if they are going to have sex before the age of consent then hopefully they'll be educated in the risks related to sex and know how to use contraception! 

We recently had Romance Academy in Chester doing a "Let's talk about sex" roadshow which was to help parents to talk to their children about sex and what really came out about it was the importance of openness and giving the opportunity to talk.
Also, I really do think GOOD sex and relationships education in schools (focussing not just on the biology but also on the emotional side) is super, super important. For one, it's slightly less cringe then parents doing it (we're not teachers either, so in theory the young people see us like once a year!) but there does need to be a cohesion between teachers (or educators) and home. 

so, sorry prof. but I don't think the age of consent will change anything BUT I do think good education will make a big difference.

Tomorrow will be less serious.

For more youth work stuff check out my other blog: Here

Until tomorrow. 


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