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Speaking out

'The only thing I remember about sex education was STIs': Young people have their say on sex education

Recent survey results from Youth Work Ireland have shown how recent events like the #MeToo movement have changed the conversation around sex. / YouTube

SEX EDUCATION HAS been in the spotlight in recent months and young people want to have their say.

bill recently went to the Dáil to prevent schools from using their religious ethos to avoid giving factual sex education, while young people gave their thoughts on sexual behaviour and consent in a new report from Youth Work Ireland.

Called the Positive Sexual Relationships Report, it asked the opinions of 1,056 young people from the ages of 14 to 24 over the past month on issues sex, consent, inappropriate behaviour and relationships.

According to the survey the influence of the #MeToo movement and the Ulster trial have changed the way people engage in conversations about sex.

With all of this going on, we decided to ask young people their thoughts on sex, consent and the sex education they received through school.

We visited members of Youth Work Ireland and DIT students to find out what they think.

“It was a lot of talking about, ‘oh this what syphilis looks like’ and here’s a picture of that,” said DIT student Aoife Meagher (19) of the sex education she received in school. “It was very much scare tactics.”

“Consent is still kind of blurry in rural areas,” said Amy O’Leary (16) of the Tipperary Junior Board of Management.

She said events like discos can “bring out the bad side in people” when it comes to that issue. “I’ve heard horror stories.”

“I’d just like there to be more openness towards it [sex],” she said.

Find out more about what young people think by watching our video above.

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