Girls talking; what girls think boys should learn in sex and relationships classes in school and who should teach them. A comparison with the opinions of boys.

Hilton, Gillian (2005) Girls talking; what girls think boys should learn in sex and relationships classes in school and who should teach them. A comparison with the opinions of boys. In: British Educational Research Association Annual Conference. , 14-17 September 2005., University of Glamorgan..

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Official URL: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/documents/143687.htm

Abstract

This paper records research undertaken with boys and girls to discover their ideas on what boys should be taught in schools’ sex and relationships education (SRE) and who should teach them. The research was undertaken to compare and contrast the attitudes and ideas of the two sexes on what boys should be learning in SRE. The research with boys was undertaken in eight boys’ only and mixed secondary schools ranging from public boarding schools to inner city comprehensives in areas where the majority of children come from ethnic minorities. In depth interviews were carried out with PSHE co-ordinators to ascertain their and the school’s attitudes towards sex and relationships education and how boys’ responded. Questionnaires were given to boys in the lower sixth form. This age group was used in order to avoid the necessity of asking for parental permission and to ensure that the school’s sex education syllabus was already completed. Questions were asked about what was taught, by whom and also how the boys would prefer to learn and who should teach them. The last question asked how boys thought their sex education could be improved. Then three focus groups were carried out with a total of twenty four boys to explore these ideas further. Answers were very clear. The boys wanted more information, smaller classes, to be taught by adults who were relaxed and knowledgeable, able to keep the class under control and who would not gossip about the boys’ ideas in the classroom. Empathy not age or sex was considered the most important attribute of a teacher and the use of outsiders rather than familiar teachers was an area on which opinions differed. Boys wanted to know more about girls and their attitudes and how to talk about relationships to each other. To supplement these findings at present the researcher is visiting a selection of mixed and single sex girls’ schools to ask girls of sixteen by questionnaire and focus group interviews what they think boys should learn in SRE classes and who should teach them. The intention is to compare the findings from the two sexes looking for similarities and differences in the ideas presented. This is ongoing research that is yet to be completed. This paper presents the findings so far. There are similarities between the ideas of the two sexes on what should be learned, in particular the problems faced by girls and what it is like to be female. The main difference is that boys want to discuss pornography from which they gain a great deal or their sexual knowledge. Girls however, in the main were very unhappy with this idea.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas:School of Health and Education > Education
ID Code:5333
Deposited On:22 Apr 2010 07:13
Last Modified:06 Feb 2013 10:09

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