Sexual Health: STIsDanni Butcher, Lydia Payne, Becky Schafer and Kelly Murphy
Today’s presentation• Why is sexual health important?• What is already in place to educate? – The effectiveness of resources• Current debates• Linking it all to theory• Activity• Comparisons to other countries• What can educationalists do? – Future recommendations
Something fun to start off with...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Bd4TpTdwx4 Condoms will be the focus form of contraception in some of our discussion, because it is the only one that protects against pregnancy and STIs.
“Positive, meaningful sexual health is a centralcomponent of overall well-being and a keycomponent of a healthy lifestyle. Sexualhealth is aligned to and includes reproductivehealth” (World Health Organization, 2006).
Why is sexual health an issue?The relevance it has to our countryLack of symptomsPossible outcomes of infertility, death, etc.Increase of spread of STIs
So what is already out there?• Sex and Relationship education lessons (SRE)• Websites• Television programmes• Television adverts• Magazines• Posters and leaflets• GP surgeries• Chlamydia screening
Sex and relationships education “It is compulsory for schools to teach the biology of reproduction, but not sex andrelationships education, although government guidance is that they should as part ofpersonal, social and health education (PHSE).” (Saner, 2011)
Brook (2011)• One in four (26%) secondary pupils get no SRE in school whatsoever.• A quarter (26%) of those who do get SRE say the teacher isn’t able to teach it well.• Only 13% of 14-18 year olds learn most about sex from their SRE teacher, and just 5% from Mum and 1% from dad at home.
Websites• Brook• NHS choices• BBC: Health• World Health Organization• Sexperience And many, many more...
Television programmes• The Sex Education Show - open and honest discussion about sex to improve understanding and remove self-doubt. - captures individual viewpoints on a broad range of sexual issues. - people’s real experiences (Sexperience, undated)
Television adverts• Want Respect? Use a Condom – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKG15lAif28
“Ignorance about sex is the primary cause ofthe spread of sexually transmitted diseases(STDs). The spread of AIDS in the 80s and 90shas shown us that education and informationis more important than ever. Giving sexeducation in schools is crucial to this spread,and may be supplemented by frank discussionat home” (International Debates in EducationAssociation, 2009).
Not teaching abstinence“understanding that it was a huge responsibility with potentially serious consequences, which we did not feel mature enough to handle.... because our health educators did their best to teach us to value and understand safe sex” (Edelstein, H: 2012).“ States that prescribe abstinence-only sex education programs in public schools have significantly higher teenage pregnancy and birth rates than states with more comprehensive sex education programs, researchers from the University of Georgia have determined” (Sciencedaily: 2011).Teaching abstinence as the best way to avoid disease and pregnancy is a bit like teaching that the best way to avoid being run over by a car is never to cross the road. It may technically be true but its not going to help anyone in the real world. (the Guardian, 2012).
Health Belief Model Ogden (2007: 24) Susceptibility Severity CostsDemographic Likelihood of variable Benefits behaviour Cues to action Health motivation Perceived control
Problems with the Health Belief Model The HBM fails to predict the use of condoms for a number of reasons:• Personal susceptibility• Maintenance of behaviour• Sex is emotional and requires a level of high arousal• Sex is interactive and involves negotiation
Factors influencing use of condomsBackground factors Interpersonal factors• Age • Partner• Gender • Parents• Ethnicity • Peers• Socio-economic status• EducationIntrapersonal factors Situational factors• knowledge • Spontaneity of sex• Attitudes • Substance use• Personality • Accessibility
Perceptions of susceptibility•Unrealistic optimism•Invulnerability to HIV is common•Weinstein 1983 & 84’- suggested that one of the reasons thatpeople continue to practice unhealthy behaviours is due toinaccurate perceptions of risk and susceptibility. 1. Lack of personal experience of problems 2. The belief that the problem is preventable by individual action 3. The belief that the problem has not yet appeared and will not appear in the future. 4. The belief that the problem is infrequent.
Self-efficacyRelates to confidence in buying condoms,confidence in using condoms or confidence insuggesting condoms should be used.
Improving knowledge• Health education campaigns assume that improving knowledge will change attitudes and therefore change behaviour. 1. Increasing knowledge increases fear in the individual, which may cause denial, resulting in no effect on behaviour or even detrimental effects on behaviour. 2. Improved knowledge may increase the individuals perception of reality and their perception of risk, which could therefore cause a change in behaviour as the individual is not experiencing fear. 3. May increase awareness of seriousness of behaviour and cause victim bullying.
Problem with research• Involves 2 people = 2 sets of beliefs, emotions and behaviours.• Sexual behaviour can cause embarrassment and is considered sensitive and personal area• This can cause dishonesty• Research may be researcher biased – Area of research, data selection, funding, interpretation and presentation.
Activity: Discussion• What were your experiences of sex and relationships education when you were growing up?• What works and what doesn’t? – Think about home, school, media and the wider community• What can we do as educationalists to improve risk taking behaviours (in relation to STIs) of young people?
In comparison to other countries... (DCSF, 2009)• Netherlands- Sex and Relationship education (P.20) – ‘respect, openness and personal responsibility’• New Zealand- ‘Only When You’re Ready’ campaign (P.21) – tackles social norms – challenges the myths and misplaced beliefs – signposted areas for both parents and teachers• Massachusetts- ‘Healthy Talk’ campaign (P.21) – people need to be taught ‘how’ to talk – language and conversation starters
WHAT EDUCATIONALISTS CAN DO: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE PRACTICE• Make sexual health education compulsory.• Parents and schools work together.• Independent trained visitors.• Get rid of the ‘taboo’ surrounding sex.
And if all this does not work, then maybe we should use lots of scare tactics???http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yXthdWtU-A
Reference list• Brook (2011) UK sex and relationships education fails to prepare young people for modern day life. [Online] Available from: http://www.brook.org.uk/professionals/application/brookpr/index.php?option=co m_brookpr&view=article&id=91&Itemid=640 [Accessed 29/03/12].• DCSF (2009) Teenage pregnancy and Sexual Health Marketing Strategy. [Online] Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/sexualhealthprofessional/Documents/Sexual_Health_Strategy _2009.pdf?wt.mc_id=21103 [Accessed 20/04/12].• Dorries, N (2012) Good sex education is not about teaching abstinence.• European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (2011) Surveillance Report- Sexually Transmitted Infections in Europe Stockholm, ECDC.• Health Protection Agency (2012) Numbers and Rates of Selected STI diagnoses in Genitourinary Medicine Clinics & Community Setting in the UK 2008-2010 [Online] Available from: http://www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1317132033760 Accessed 11/4/2012 [Accessed 20/04/12].
• International Debates in Education Association (2009) Should children be given Sex Education in schools, or should this be the responsibility of the parents? How should it be taught? [Online] Available from: http://www.idebate.org/debatabase/topic_details.php?topicID=52 [Accessed 11/4/2012].• NCSP (2010) Get tested- find your local service. [Online] Available from: http://www.chlamydiascreening.nhs.uk/ys/presults.asp?map=Q39 [Accessed 15/04/12].• Ogden, J. (2007) Health Psychology: a textbook. 4th edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press.• Saner, E. (2011) How good is sex education in schools? [Online] Available from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/oct/10/how-good-is-sex-education [Accessed 29/03/12].• Sciencedaily (2011) Abstinence- only Education does not lead to Abstinent Behvaiour, Researchers Find [Online] Available from: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111129185925.htm [Accessed: 11/4/2012].• Sexperience (undated) Frequently asked questions. [Online] Available from: http://sexperienceuk.channel4.com/faq [Accessed 15/04/12].• Sharp, J. (2009) Success with your Education Research Project. Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd.• Weinstein, N. (1984) Why it won’t happen to me: perceptions of risk factors and susceptibility, Health Psychology, 3: 431-57.• World Health Organization (2006) Young People’s Health in Great Britain and Ireland [online] Available from: http://www.hbsc.org/downloads/YoungPeoplesHealth_GB&Ireland.pdf Accessed: 24/4/2012