Ages 14-16

At this age some young people will either be sexually experimental or know friends who are. They will be interested to know what they should expect of a partner and how to talk to them. They will need more information on contraception, sexual health and how to access services. They will want to know about different types of relationships and homophobia. They may want to know about how to cope with strong feelings and how to cope with the pressures to have sex. They will start to ask questions about parenthood and may like to know how they can talk to their own parents or a trusted adult. They will also be interested in other influences on sexual decision making such as the law, different cultures and religious beliefs, pornography, the media and the effects of drugs and alcohol.

Questions to help you understand what young people want to learn about are listed in themes below.

Relationships

  • What should I expect of my partner in a sexual relationship?
  • What can I do to make a sexual relationship more enjoyable?
  • Do people try to control or exploit one another through sexual relationships?
  • How can I recognise when this might be happening and respond to it?
  • What is the most effective way to resist pressure from friends or partner to do things I don't want to do?
  • How can I help a friend in an abusive relationship
  • What is homophobia, what effect does it have on people and what can I do if I or a friend experiences it?
  • What is most important to me in my relationships with friends, family and sexual partner?
  • What are the causes of conflict in young people's relationships with friends, family and peers and how can we deal with it?
  • What communication skills would help me in my relationships?
  • When is the right time to become a parent?
  • What responsibilities do parents have and what skills do they need?
  • How can young people cope with family break-up, divorce and bereavement and who can provide support?
  • What are the challenges of being a single parent? What help is available to single parents?
  • What is the best way to challenge bullying and prejudice?

 

Feelings and attitudes

  • How can I cope with strong feelings such as anger, sadness, desire and love?
  • What are the biggest influences on me and my friends sexual behaviour and health?
  • What do different cultures and religions believe about sex and relationships?
  • How does how I feel about my body affect my self esteem and my relationship with others?
  • Pornography is easy to access on the internet - does it show what real sexual relationships are like/should be like?
  • Why do people stereotype gays and lesbians/ male, females and transgender/ and stigmatise people with STIs such as HIV?

 

Keeping safe and looking after my sexual health

  • What are the different types of contraception, their advantages and disadvantages, and how can I choose between them?
  • Are all methods of contraception also protection against sexually transmitted infections including HIV? What are the risks of different sexual activities?
  • Should I be responsible for contraception in a relationship? Can I negotiate this with my partner or should I trust them?
  • I know that alcohol and drugs may affect sexual choices and behaviour - how can I reduce the risks from this?
  • How do I use a condom and does it affect sexual performance?

 

People who can help me/sources of help and advice

  • What are my rights as a young person to information, sexual health services and confidentiality?
  • What is the full range of services, help and information available to me, where can I find out about them and how can I make the most of these services?
  • I'd like to talk to my parents or a trusted adult about sex and relationships - what is the best way to go about this?
  • If a woman gets pregnant, what choices does she have and what influences these choices?
  • What are the laws on sexual offences?

 

See questions for other age groups