Relevance of sexual education in schools

By Heeni Brown
  • Auckland

Should there be a different approach to sex education in NZ schools? It comes in the wake of statistics which show up to one in three girls will be subjected to an unwanted sexual experience by the age of 16 years.

No matter the platform. It's a hard subject to avoid, sex is everywhere.

For sex educators Te Kaha o Te Rangatahi Trust, it's about teaching youth how to be safe around sex.

Facilitator Te Ao Tanaki says the programme offers youth support, “We are just wanting to make sure we are a port of help and let our youth know Te Kaha o Te Rangatahi are here.”

Te Wharekura o Manurewa principal, Maahia Nathan says it’s a subject that's supported and incorporated into their curriculum, “Year 9-13 is the time we need to be thinking about these things and how to protect our children and talk to them about the consequences that could come from it.”

There are so many issues associated with youth and sex. Chlamydia was the most reported STI in 2014 for those aged between 15 and 29 years. Māori and Pasifika had the highest chlamydia rates according to a surveillance report on sexually transmitted infections in NZ.

Rape Prevention statistics show that up to one in three girls will be subjected to an unwanted sexual experience by the age of 16 years.

For Māori girls and women, the likelihood of sexual violence is nearly twice as high as the general population.

“If we teach our children properly about all these sorts of things, they shouldn't feel bad if they'd come out of it in a good way, “says Nathan.

Tanaki says they’re able to provide additional education, “We are really wanting education around sexually transmitted infections because we've found just through some of our teachings that many people don't know about these sorts of things.

Te Kaha o Te Rangatahi say the government needs to put more funding into sexual education.

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