Listening to the boys: English boys' views on the desirable characteristics of teachers of sex education.

Hilton, Gillian (2003) Listening to the boys: English boys' views on the desirable characteristics of teachers of sex education. Sex Education, 3 (1) . pp. 33-45. ISSN 1468-1811 [Article]


This paper explores the preferences of boys regarding the characteristics of teachers of sex education. Sex education in English schools is delivered as a compulsory part of National Curriculum Science and in most schools is further explored in time given over to personal, social and health education. Research was carried out in a variety of schools from both the state and private sectors, by the use of focus group interviews and questionnaires. Due to the existing law in England and Wales regarding parents' right of withdrawal from classes, only boys of 16 or over were used in this research. Boys want teachers to be empathetic, non-judgmental and able to create a 'safe environment' in order to facilitate the discussion of difficult subjects. Most boys believed that the age and sex of the teacher had little bearing on whether they could deliver the subject well; more important was their ability to generate trust, keep control of classes and use relaxed and informal methods of delivery. Unanimously the boys believed that history and English teachers were more able to fulfil these requirements whereas science and mathematics teachers were considered to be unable to adapt to the relaxed styles required. There was a general belief that teachers should be specially trained in this area of the curriculum. Disagreement was found in areas such as the use of outsiders to deliver sex education. The implications of this research for teacher educators, teachers in training and schools are considerable. Unless boys work with teachers they respect and trust they will continue to have little time for this area of the curriculum, to the detriment of their future relationships.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Education
Item ID: 5117
Depositing User: Kathy Mcgowan
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2010 11:40
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:18

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