An Introduction to Young People and Sex and Relationship Education
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Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) in the 21st century has not simply been a story of progress ‘out of darkness and ignorance into light and freedom’ (Hall, 1995: 51). Globally, the adversarial nature of debates is based upon contested understandings of family change, ‘appropriate’ sexual behaviour and the proper relationship between the state, parents and children (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), 2009). Combined with questions about youth, adolescent sexuality has been treated as a particular cause for concern. Questions about youth are usually ‘what to do with them’ (Kelly, 2006: 25). Concern centres on how to educate, regulate, home and employ those under 25, and prevent them from simultaneously being ‘at risk’, ‘in risk’ and ‘of risk’ to themselves and others (Muncie, 1999; Kelly, 2006). The 1990s particularly saw burgeoning public and moral fears over adolescent sexuality caused by the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), ‘alarming’ rates of unplanned teen pregnancies and concerns over underage sex, absent fathers and welfare dependency. SRE is considered by many industri alised countries to be a policy solution that contributes to tackling these concerns.
KeywordsYoung People Sexual Health Sexual Identity Absent Father Adolescent Sexuality
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