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Palgrave Macmillan

Understanding Sex and Relationship Education, Youth and Class

A Youth Work-Led Approach

ISBN 9780230278868
Publication Date October 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Shortlisted for the BSA Philip Abrams Memorial Prize 2014
Why does sex and relationship education (SRE) continue to have mixed success? Why is teaching SRE difficult? And why do some adolescents practice safe sex according to the SRE messages while others still engage in risky sexual behaviour? To answer these questions, this book explores a cutting edge Youth Work-based SRE programme that examines how young people aged 15-21 engage with SRE, describing how a range of socioeconomic, cultural and sexual norms, values and attitudes differently shape their decision-making on sex, intimacy and future pathways. The empirical data presents young people's rich accounts from diverse socioeconomic contexts and relationships, as well as sex educators' views on the efficacy of SRE. Important key themes are family and friendship networks, education and employment expectations, and personal and romantic relationships. Uniquely theorising classed circumstances and expectations with gendered heterosexual practices, Understanding Sex and Relationship Education, Youth and Class reveals that understanding the contextual specifics of teens lives is crucial for the relevancy of SRE. Drawing on SRE and Youth Service practice, alongside policy debates in the UK and international context, means that this book will be useful for readers worldwide, and those interested in sociology, social policy, sexual and public health studies, as well as policymakers and youth practitioners.

Sharon Elley is Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds, UK.

1. An Introduction to Young People and Sex and Relationship Education
2. Rethinking the Intersections of Class, Gender and Heterosexuality
3. An International Comparison of Adolescent Sexuality and SRE Policies
4. Locating Young People within SRE and Research: Turning UK Policy into SRE Practice
5. Youth Workers' Views about Youth and SRE: Provision and Practice
6. Young People's Views on Sex and Relationships in SRE
7. Parent and Peer Communication about Sexuality and SRE in the Family and Friendship Context
8. SRE, Heterosexual Identities and Educational Expectations page
9. Young People's Gendered and Classed Heterosexual Identities page
10. Conclusion: Addressing the Gap between SRE and Young People's Lives


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