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Engaging young working class men in the delivery of sex and relationships education

Brown, Sally; McQueen, Fiona


Sally Brown


Despite a substantial body of research on young people’s wishes about the content and delivery of sex and relationships education (SRE), studies still indicate dissatisfaction with the way lessons are provided. This discussion takes place in a public health context where young people’s sexual activity is viewed negatively and as a risk to health, and advice focusses on the need to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. This focus on risk clashes with cultural representations of sexuality, and particularly male sexuality, which focus on pleasure and risk taking. In this paper, we present insights from workshops provided by a local charity to boys aged 14-15 in a school in one of the most deprived areas in Edinburgh, Scotland. We held four focus groups with a total of 20 boys and interviewed the workshop providers and the school guidance teacher. The boys valued having men from outside school talking to them about sex and relationships in ways that made them feel respected. They were keen to learn more about relationships, highlighting the need to focus on how SRE is delivered to young working class men.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 24, 2019
Online Publication Date Jul 5, 2019
Publication Date 2020-02
Deposit Date Jun 25, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 6, 2021
Journal Sex Education
Print ISSN 1468-1811
Electronic ISSN 1472-0825
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 2
Pages 186-201
Keywords Sex and relationships education; young men; gender; masculinity; Scotland; class
Public URL
Contract Date Jun 25, 2019


Engaging Young Working Class Men In The Delivery Of Sex And Relationships Education (254 Kb)

Engaging Young Working Class Men In The Delivery Of Sex And Relationships Education (58 Kb)

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