Sex education in England excludes LGBTQ issues in its curriculum, activists want to reconsider.
Relationship and Sex Education
Secondary students in England will now undergo compulsory lessons in Relationship and Sex Education starting in September. While in primary schools, basic lessons on relationships are being pushed to be imposed. The Department of Education provides basic guidelines on the lessons but doesn’t dig in too far into details.
School administrators and teachers are encouraged to conduct consultations with the parents to create a more personalized approach in teaching RSE lessons to their children. In every classroom, the teachers may adapt to the needs of the children as long as communication is open between the parents and the educators.
In the lectures about RSE, some young teachers want to include additional topics such as LGBTQ, forced marriages, and sexual abuse. They want students to be exposed fully to the reality of the topic of sexuality.
Activists also push LGBTQ information dissemination
According to Milly Evans, creator of the website “I Support Sex Education:”
Knowledge in sex education is a basic human right. Everyone has the right to know their body, our preferences, and our orientation.
As a part of the LGBTQ community, Evans believed that issues on mental-health which are related to sexual partners does not limit to same-sex relationships. In fact, sexual partners under the LGBTQ umbrella are more likely to face mental health issues.
Another young activist, Talia Kensit, founder of Youth Realities, wants to amplify discussion regarding teenage relationship abuses. Pertaining to her personal experience, at the age of 15, she was already in a relationship, which she never expected to be emotionally and physically abusive.
At that young age, she withstands the abuse, not knowing who to come into for help. In a 2009 study about women abuses, 25 percent of women experienced physical abuse from their partners, with 11 percent being considered as severe physical abuse.
In the new curriculum, parents have the option to pull out their children from sex education classes when they reach the age of 15. Activists fear that at this crucial age of teenagers, the more it is important for them to have a support system such as what they have during sex education classes.