Fertility, porn, imagination… it’s time for a new approach to sex education | Eva Wiseman

Far fewer babies are being born so we should be teaching boys – not just girls – how to make informed choices about fertility and relationships

Do you ever get that thing, that slightly psychedelic thing, when you hear an idea so good that it changes how you encounter the rest of the world? When it installs itself like a migrainous aura in your vision, colouring unrelated thoughts, its simplicity offering whispered suggestions for other ways a problem might be solved? It happened for me with porn.

An essay by Oxford professor Amia Srinivasan offers a solution to the many problems with pornography, and rather than the suggestion that people just switch off their phones or even that schools teach “porn literacy”, it is to offer young people a kind of “negative” sex education. “It wouldn’t assert its authority to tell the truth about sex,” but remind them that, “the authority on what sex is, and could become, lies with them.” Lessons in the lost power of sexual imagination. I could not love this more.

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‘Sex isn’t difficult any more’: the men who are quitting watching porn

Addiction to pornography has been blamed for erectile dysfunction, relationship issues and depression, yet problematic use is rising. Now therapists and tech companies are offering new solutions

Thomas discovered pornography in the traditional way: at school. He remembers classmates talking about it in the playground and showing each other videos on their phones during sleepovers. He was 13 and thought it was “a laugh”. Then he began watching pornography alone on his tablet in his room. What started as occasional use, at the beginning of puberty, became a daily habit.

Thomas (not his real name), who is in his early 20s, lived with one of his parents, who he says did not care what he was doing online. “At the time, it felt normal, but looking back I can see that it got out of hand quite quickly,” Thomas says. When he got a girlfriend at 16, he started having sex and watched less pornography. But the addiction was just waiting to resurface, he says.

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Sex Education Xplorers (SEX) review – a biology lesson for the 21st century

Summerhall, Edinburgh
Mamoru Iriguchi and Afton Moran raid their dressing-up box to give us a cheery guide to the evolutionary history of reproduction, and what it says about gender fluidity in humans

I imagine the curriculum has changed since my day but, even so, I’m pretty sure not many biology lessons look like this one by Mamoru Iriguchi. With a dressing-up-box aesthetic and a naive enthusiasm, the Edinburgh performer casts the audience in the role of 14-year-old pupils at “Summerhall secondary school”. Ably assisted by Afton Moran, using hand-knitted pubic hair and clownfish costumes as visual aids, and making natty use of a computer monitor that turns real-world objects into screen animations, he takes us through the evolutionary story of reproduction. It’s an illustrated lecture that traces the journey from the earliest sea creatures to the appearance of land animals and onwards to the present day.

The show has a rough-and-ready charm, performed with more enthusiasm than subtlety, and an appropriately adolescent sense of humour. It takes a wide-eyed approach to the allure of human nudity (no other creature is turned on by nakedness) and the magic of organisms that can reproduce by severing parts of their own body.

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Aid cuts make a mockery of UK pledges on girls’ education | Zoe Williams

The government’s words at the global education summit are completely at odds with its behaviour. Whatever the event achieves will be despite its UK hosts, not because of them

With all the fanfare Covid would allow, the global education summit opened in London this week. Ahead of the meeting, the minister for European neighbourhood and the Americas was on rousing form. “Educating girls is a gamechanger,” Wendy Morton said, going on to describe what a plan would look like to do just that.

The UK, co-hosting the summit with Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, plans to raise funds for the Global Partnership for Education, from governments and donors. The UK government has promised £430m over the next five years.

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Chanel Contos to meet Scott Morrison to discuss sex consent education reforms

Sex education is currently taught too late, with 50% of children already sexually active when it begins in year 10, Contos says

Prime minister Scott Morrison will discuss reforms to combat rape culture with Chanel Contos, whose petition calling for earlier sex education in schools prompted hundreds of testimonies from former Sydney schoolgirls about sexual assault earlier this year.

Speaking after briefing other federal MPs on Thursday, Contossaid concepts such as sexual coercion are still “not understood by the wider community” although policymakers, including the curriculum authority, were now taking them seriously.

Related: ‘Do they even know they did this to us?’: why I launched the school sexual assault petition | Chanel Contos

Related: The trouble with boys: what lies behind the flood of teenage sexual assault stories?

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By changing young people’s attitudes, we can tackle violence against women | Cordelia Morrison

The school workshops I run have shown me that damaging attitudes towards sex, gender and equality start early

Recently, I delivered a healthy relationships workshop at a primary school. We started by playing a drama game, where we asked the children to pretend to be different types of people. A superhero? Lots of air-punches. What about a girl? The girls laughed awkwardly, while the boys pouted, pretended to cry, and fell to the floor.

“Why are you down there,” I asked the boy nearest me. He beamed, and said: “Cos girls are scaredy-cats and they, like, faint and stuff.” “OK,” said my co-facilitator, “how do the girls in the room feel about that?” A pause. Shuffling. One girl eventually volunteered: “It makes me feel sad. And it’s not fair. We’re not all the same.”

Cordelia Morrison is relationships officer for Tender, a charity working to prevent domestic and sexual violence in the lives of children and young people

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By changing young people’s attitudes, we can tackle violence against women | Cordelia Morrison

The school workshops I run have shown me that damaging attitudes towards sex, gender and equality start early

Recently, I delivered a healthy relationships workshop at a primary school. We started by playing a drama game, where we asked the children to pretend to be different types of people. A superhero? Lots of air-punches. What about a girl? The girls laughed awkwardly, while the boys pouted, pretended to cry, and fell to the floor.

“Why are you down there,” I asked the boy nearest me. He beamed, and said: “Cos girls are scaredy-cats and they, like, faint and stuff.” “OK,” said my co-facilitator, “how do the girls in the room feel about that?” A pause. Shuffling. One girl eventually volunteered: “It makes me feel sad. And it’s not fair. We’re not all the same.”

Cordelia Morrison is relationships officer for Tender, a charity working to prevent domestic and sexual violence in the lives of children and young people

Continue reading…

By changing young people’s attitudes, we can tackle violence against women | Cordelia Morrison

The school workshops I run have shown me that damaging attitudes towards sex, gender and equality start early

Recently, I delivered a healthy relationships workshop at a primary school. We started by playing a drama game, where we asked the children to pretend to be different types of people. A superhero? Lots of air-punches. What about a girl? The girls laughed awkwardly, while the boys pouted, pretended to cry, and fell to the floor.

“Why are you down there,” I asked the boy nearest me. He beamed, and said: “Cos girls are scaredy-cats and they, like, faint and stuff.” “OK,” said my co-facilitator, “how do the girls in the room feel about that?” A pause. Shuffling. One girl eventually volunteered: “It makes me feel sad. And it’s not fair. We’re not all the same.”

Cordelia Morrison is relationships officer for Tender, a charity working to prevent domestic and sexual violence in the lives of children and young people

Continue reading…

By changing young people’s attitudes, we can tackle violence against women | Cordelia Morrison

The school workshops I run have shown me that damaging attitudes towards sex, gender and equality start early

Recently, I delivered a healthy relationships workshop at a primary school. We started by playing a drama game, where we asked the children to pretend to be different types of people. A superhero? Lots of air-punches. What about a girl? The girls laughed awkwardly, while the boys pouted, pretended to cry, and fell to the floor.

“Why are you down there,” I asked the boy nearest me. He beamed, and said: “Cos girls are scaredy-cats and they, like, faint and stuff.” “OK,” said my co-facilitator, “how do the girls in the room feel about that?” A pause. Shuffling. One girl eventually volunteered: “It makes me feel sad. And it’s not fair. We’re not all the same.”

Cordelia Morrison is relationships officer for Tender, a charity working to prevent domestic and sexual violence in the lives of children and young people

Continue reading…

By changing young people’s attitudes, we can tackle violence against women | Cordelia Morrison

The school workshops I run have shown me that damaging attitudes towards sex, gender and equality start early

Recently, I delivered a healthy relationships workshop at a primary school. We started by playing a drama game, where we asked the children to pretend to be different types of people. A superhero? Lots of air-punches. What about a girl? The girls laughed awkwardly, while the boys pouted, pretended to cry, and fell to the floor.

“Why are you down there,” I asked the boy nearest me. He beamed, and said: “Cos girls are scaredy-cats and they, like, faint and stuff.” “OK,” said my co-facilitator, “how do the girls in the room feel about that?” A pause. Shuffling. One girl eventually volunteered: “It makes me feel sad. And it’s not fair. We’re not all the same.”

Cordelia Morrison is relationships officer for Tender, a charity working to prevent domestic and sexual violence in the lives of children and young people

Continue reading…

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