Sex ed ‘must cover respect and consent’, say young mums

“Some of the things I did as a teenager, I think, ‘What the hell were you doing? Why did you do that? Why did you let this person take advantage of you?'” The BBC reports.

Christina, now in her 30s, fell pregnant when she was just 14. Reflecting on her teenage experiences, she says she wishes she had been more confident about saying “No.”

For her, a revised sex and relationships education (SRE) curriculum currently being drawn up for schools in England must focus on the emotional.

“I think that the curriculum needs to emphasise the love and relationship side rather than the physical side, because everyone knows where babies come from. It’s about young people being emotionally stable and confident enough to say, ‘No.'”

Christina says getting involved in early sexual experiences can often be about underlying mental health issues such as low self-esteem.

Bethany, 22, who was 17 when she gave birth to her daughter, says the issues young people face were just beginning to change when she was growing up, as people started to get smartphones.

“There are these new things that have come up that we need to focus on – there’s definitely pressure by peers and social media and this whole thing of photos and videos and revenge porn and the effects of sending this and using it against someone as well.”

Bethany agrees with Christina that lessons in schools should focus less on the biology and more on issues of personal boundaries.

“Understanding that concept that a ‘No,’ is a ‘No,’ and that it’s not OK to kind of fear someone into doing something, even if you’re not physically touching them but the mental threat has been put there – that is still taking advantage. 

Read the full article and issues young mums have put forward for school discussion Sex ed ‘must cover respect and consent’, say young mums

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