Research about sexual coercion of teenage girls

Sex Education Forum statement on NSPCC research finding large numbers of teenage girls experience sexual coercion in relationships

Media release: Wednesday 11th February 2015.

Lucy Emmerson, Coordinator of the Sex Education Forum said:

“Disturbingly, this new research shows just how widespread experiences of relationship abuse are for young people and the disproportionate impact on girls and young women. We know that many young people leave school without having learnt about consent or discussing what is 'good' or 'bad' in a relationship. Addressing these subjects needs to begin in primary school, starting with family and friendships, boundaries and the difference between safe and unwanted touch.

However, with relationships education optional in primary schools and only a few biological topics required at secondary level, the quality and quantity of sex and relationships education young people get is down to the luck of the draw. We are calling for a change to legislation that makes Sex and Relationships Education statutory in all schools, and call on all political parties to make a commitment to this in their manifestos.”



For more information please contact the National Children's Bureau's media office on 0207 843 6045 / 47 or email For urgent enquiries out of office hours call 07721 097 033.


Links to research and resources & notes to editor

Related research
A survey of children and young people published by the Sex Education Forum in January 2014, found that almost one in three say they did not learn about consent at school. Children and young people were even less likely to have learnt ‘what is good or bad in a relationship’; with only 43% saying this had been covered in sex and relationships education classes at school, with many describing a complete absence of discussion about real-life relationship situations and what you would do ‘should something happen’. See further details.

NSPCC research
The NSPCC research was carried out with Bristol University and the University of Central Lancashire as part of a study in a number of European countries. A series of five briefing papers set out the research findings and implications.  


The Sex Education Forum has produced guidance to help teachers address important subjects in sex and relationships education classes. ‘The Consent Issue’ and ‘The Pornography Issue’ are available at: /sex-educational-supplement

An 'app' for young people, and on-line 'STIRitapp' education materials for young people and educators have been published on-line, see: 

About the Sex Education Forum
The Sex Education Forum is the national authority on sex and relationships education (SRE). We believe that good quality SRE is an entitlement for all children and young people and we are working with our core members, who all support statutory SRE and include local authorities, children’s, religious, health and family organisations, to achieve this. The Sex Education Forum is based at the National Children’s Bureau (NCB). For further information visit:  

About the National Children's Bureau
The National Children's Bureau (NCB) is a leading charity that for 50 years has been improving the lives of children and young people, especially the most vulnerable. We work with children and for children, to influence government policy, be a strong voice for young people and practitioners, and provide creative solutions on a range of social issues. For more information visit