Sexual Health—Get Involved: A Kinesthetic Learning Experience of STI Transmission and Prevention †
OFSTED repeatedly finds the teaching of sexually transmitted infections in secondary schools ‘inadequate’ across the UK (3). This is thought to be due to a number of reasons, including the fact that staff teaching this topic feel inadequately prepared and not knowledgeable enough to do so (4).In 2010, over half of newly diagnosed sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in England were within patients aged 16-24 years (2). This could be the result of a lack of mandatory, quality sexual health education in schools, combined with larger scale social issues. Young females, in particular, reported feelings of shame when visiting sexual health clinics which on occasion may compel them to lie about their sexual history to a practitioner in order to protect a ‘fragile sexual reputation’(1).In response to the recommendations of FPA and the aforementioned public health statistics, this session was developed to improve student understanding of sexual health and of the risks associated with different sexual behaviors. Another aim was, by integrating information about the importance of regular sexual health check-ups into sexual health education in schools, to reduce the associated feelings of shame across the young female population. The activity was carried out with two classes of Year 12 students (16-17 years) in an independent school in the London borough of Lewisham. The session builds on education about STIs, which is part of the national science curriculum, and extends concepts about transmission to the most common STIs prevalent within the population aged 16-24.
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