It's my right: The young people calling for sex and relationships education
From Muslim to Catholic beliefs, from girls to boys, and from diverse sexual orientations – these young people all have one thing in common. They’re calling for mandatory sex and relationships education (SRE).
In their own words, find out what motivates them to campaign for mandatory sex and relationships education.
It's some of the most difficult challenges we face
"Education is supposed to provide young people with skills and knowledge that will be invaluable to them for the rest of their lives. Sex and relationships form some of the most difficult challenges young people face both in their adolescence and adulthood years to come. So it’s just crazy it’s currently not a mandatory on curriculum in schools."
Philip, 16, Medway
It allows you to be in control
"I think learning about sex and relationship education is really important as it allows you to be in control and stop people taking advantage of you.
"SRE should be quite separate from religion as learning about these things gives you the option if you want it but it doesn't mean you have to take it if you don't. I also think that by not talking about it, and saying it’s for religious reasons, makes it seem shameful and prevents things from being out in the open and discussed which protects everybody's rights."
Ambrin, 14, London, practising Muslim
Homophobia can’t be brushed under the carpet
“We need to provide a space, a platform, whatever you want to call it for these ideas (LGBT) and experiences to be discussed, so they aren’t some big thing hanging over a young person’s identity.
“Schools are the perfect place for people to talk about romantic and sexual orientation.”
Aless, 17, Lancaster
“Even with more young people coming out as LGBT, there's still a lack of basic SRE and consent education in schools, let alone about any LGBT aspects. SRE would help to promote understanding of everyone and decrease discrimination."
Adam, 18, Lancaster
I was told the way to not get pregnant is to not have sex
“I have always been in Catholic schools and I know that in many religious schools the sexual education provided can actually be very informative. However, mine has been interesting to say the least and I am definitely not alone. What the schools taught us was largely up to them.
“My secondary school is all girls and yet instead of being taught about contraception we were told the way to not get pregnant is to not have sex, apparently the perfect solution?”
Evie, 16, London, practising Catholic
It was so basic
“[Sex and relationships education at school was] terrible. In my school, it essentially did not exist. We had one lesson where we put condoms on dildos. But that was it. And we were 12. Something like that needs to be repeated later on, because 12 year olds are not generally receptive to that… And it’s simply not enough. It’s all so basic.”
Sophia, 19, South East
I was never taught about sexual violence
“I’ve never once been taught about sexual violence and sexual assault. That’s why we need mandatory sex and relationships education, including consent and healthy relationships.”
Rosa, 18, London
There’s no need to be shy about it
“In my school, I only recall having an hour of sex education in year 7 and never had any PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) lessons. It was strange to see the normally very strict teachers, suddenly becoming shy and giggly when having to teach us sex ed.”
Kinza, 19, Birmingham