Young People’s Views on Sex and Relationships in SRE



Youth Work-based SRE attempts to provide an environment which facilitates young people’s personal, sexual and social development. Linked to SRE, this is often around official discourses of sexual health information and disease prevention. This then sidelines the social practices and conditions which shape adolescent lives. SRE programmes worldwide are mainly information-based and embedded with the assumption that teens should make rational, calculated decisions in relation to safe sexual activity (UNESCO, 2009). Adolescents are generally critical of most SRE programmes. In 2011, research with over 2,000 14- to 18-year olds in the UK commissioned by Brook, a Sexual Advice Service for Young People, Simon Blake, National Director of Brook, was quoted as saying: ‘We are told by the young people who access our services that it is too little, too late, too biological… what they really want is emotions, real life dilemmas and much more about relationships’ (Saner, 2011). Similarly, the UK’s Sex Education Forum (SEF, 2008a) and international forum UNESCO (2009) further add that SRE is inconsistent with better training and practice needed. Building on the previous chapter about Youth Service-led practitioners’ perceptions of the SRE programme called ‘U-Chooz’ (pseudonym) operating across comprehensive schools in the UK, this chapter focuses on SRE as conceptualised by the young people themselves aged 15–21 years.


Young People Sexual Intercourse Sexual Health Sexual Encounter Unplanned Pregnancy 
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Copyright information

© Sharon Elley 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LeedsUK

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