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Wellington Sexual Abuse Network on Family First and sex ed

Published: Tue 28 Aug 2012 05:12 PM
Wellington Sexual Abuse Network disagrees with Family First’s criticisms of sex education in New Zealand
28 August 2012
Yesterday Family First NZ released a DVD highlighting the so-called dangers of Family Planning’s and Rainbow Youth’s sex education. They say education fails to tell the full facts and compromises the safety of young people. Today the Wellington Sexual Abuse Network’s (WSAN) Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator Hannah Cranston rebutted this claim saying “Sex education has evolved from being about saying no, scare-mongering about diseases and putting the onus on girls and women to prevent unwanted sexual behaviour. Now programmes such as those provided by Family Planning and WSAN provide information and food for thought to allow young people to make up their minds, not only about when they want to have sex, but what kind of sex, and with whom.”
WSAN runs “Sex & Ethics”, a programme for 16-25 year olds, which contributes to comprehensive sexuality education for young people in NZ. The approach used in the programme was developed by an Australian academic following direct research with young people.
“'Sex ' uses a simple decision making framework to empower young people and provide skills for them to maintain self care, be aware of their desires and the effects on others, to negotiate and discuss sex with partners, and reflect on their own and others’ behaviour,” says Cranston.
“This provides young people with the strength and understanding they need to make their own decisions and not be directed or put off by the enforced moral codes of adults.”
Cranston says “Sexuality education such as “Sex & Ethics” should always be positive about sex, rather than portraying it in a negative light and something to be afraid of or avoided. It should also be inclusive of diversity, such as sexuality, gender identity and personal views on approaches to sex. This is because young people are going to be inquisitive and sensitive about sex whilst also being surrounded by sexual imagery, peer pressure and other people’s fears about their sexual behaviour.”
“Programmes and resources must absolutely be funded by the government, so that experts such as Family Planning and WSAN can continue to provide education, and programmes like “Sex & Ethics” can continue to contribute to comprehensive sexuality education,” says Cranston.
WSAN provides sexual violence primary prevention programmes in the Wellington region to young people through “Sex & Ethics” and related programmes and also to hospitality staff through ‘ethical bystander’ programmes. WSAN is funded through a mixture of Government, local Government and private trust grants as well as programme user pays.
See Family First media release here http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1208/S00412/schools-informed-of-agenda-of-sex-ed-groups.htm
ENDS

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