Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Sex education programmes to combat rape culture

Rape culture

Revised guidelines from the Ministry of Education for sex education in schools are expected to be released in December and they are welcomed by one of the largest providers of sex education in the country. “We provide presentations and resources on sex in more than 93% of New Zealand high schools”, says Dave Atkinson, senior presenter for Attitude Programmes for Schools.

“It is a dozen years since the last guidelines came out and so much has changed for young people. I am not that much older than the current crop of high school students but one thing that is completely different is that, through their technology, they can instantly access the opinions and experiences of millions of other teenagers. It used to be that the internet and other media allowed young people to spy on the adult world of sex; now they don’t need to reference adults at all.

“Too often, sex education for young people consists of pornography combined with the opinions of other teenagers. Of course they can learn a lot from their peers, and I see all the time that young people are more than capable of making positive decisions for their lives, but there is still a need for them to be supported by, and to learn from, the ‘big people’ in their lives – their parents, teachers and other adults who care about them.”

“Another teen can tell you that sex feels good but it takes someone with some maturity to tell you that sex can be beautiful and precious but it can also be bleak and lonely, and that sex can be powerfully positive or an absolute tragedy. Our Attitude team is part of the youth division of The Parenting Place, and even though our presenters are young and ‘cool’, their messages give the adult wisdom that parents want their kids to hear.”

There has been a lot of talk about consent in recent months – especially around the Roastbusters case – and this will no doubt feature in the new guidelines. The message of consent has been part of the Attitude message for many years.

“Consent is not just the absence of ‘No’. We have to challenge the notion that coercing someone into having sex is some sort of victory: it’s actually a tragedy and a crime. ‘Rape culture’ represents a gap in understanding masculinity and a lack of respect for women. I’m particularly proud of our male presenters who stand up in front of kids every day and don’t just tell kids about healthy, respectful relationships; they teach it as role models. They demonstrate what a good thing real masculinity is because it is not about domination and force.”

Below is an excerpt from “Sex with Attitude” resource for schools:

You always have the right to say ‘no’ to sex. It is wrong for anyone to force someone else to have sex. Not just wrong, it is illegal! If this happens to you, surround yourself with people to support you and go to the police or a rape crisis centre. One of the most important things to remember is, it’s not your fault!

Too often the messages about rape are directed at girls. There is stuff they need to know but the blame and responsibility should fall squarely with the person who is doing the harm. Some people have some really sad attitudes that need to be challenged.

If someone dresses in a way that excites you, it does not mean they are saying, “Use my body”.
Pushing someone who is unsure into sex is not ‘doing them a favour’ – it’s rape.
Seducing someone into bed after getting them drunk is never okay, ever.
“I’m not sure”, “I’m not ready”, “I would rather not” are not chances for you to convince them otherwise. It’s a chance to respect their decision.
Seeing someone as just a body and using it to meet your own needs shows you have a huge lack of character.
Leaving a trail of pain, shame and regret behind you should not be something to boast about to your friends but something to be ashamed of.
Rape is a criminal offence. Seriously. Very seriously.

We know that sometimes you are horny and a refusal might frustrate you, but honestly, you spend half your life feeling horny - this is just one more time you have to sigh and deal with it. You should consider the other person’s feelings and welfare. If you ever want to stand tall, feel good about yourself and experience true love and intimacy, don’t push people into sex (and don’t tolerate others who do).

Consent
Consent is a free agreement between everyone involved in any sexual experience. Consent is about everyone being fully aware of what is happening and totally okay with it. You have not given your consent if you have been verbally, physically or emotionally forced or threatened, trapped or tricked, or if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The law also says that you are able to give consent if you are under the age of 16. Having sex with someone who hasn’t given consent is rape.

About The Parenting Place
The Parenting Place is a not for profit organisation whose mission is to positively impact families.

The Parenting Place has been in operation for 21 years, enhancing the lives of families and young people, by encouraging and strengthening parents with parenting programmes that make a difference, while being accessible, fun and inspiring. At the same time we speak to young people in nearly 100% of high schools and an increasing number of intermediate schools, encouraging healthy thinking and positive choices. When parents and their kids are positively impacted at the same time, we are really making a measurable difference in our communities.

The Parenting Place offers an extensive range of resources and courses for parents and students. Check out www.theparentingplace.com.

We help families through a wide range of programmes - Toolbox parenting groups, Hot Tips for communities, Hot Tips for businesses, Fathers' Breakfasts, The Parenting Show with Pio, Pasifika Families,Parenting magazine, Family Coaches, our centre in Auckland, Attitude Programmes for Schools, and the NYLD events. The Parenting Place is the only organisation that provides programmes for parents from prospective parents right through to 18 years of age. We are regularly called on to comment on events and activities that impact the young in this ever-changing environment.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'


The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland