At this age young people are at the
legal age of consent and many, but not all, will be in intimate
relationships and will be interested to know about thechallenges of
long-term commitments and the qualities needed for successful
loving relationships. They will be interested in what issues can be
difficult to talk about in intimate relationships, for example
sexual pleasure and contraception and how this can be
They will be interested to know more about being gay, lesbian,
bisexual or transgender. Young people at this age will need more
information on sexual risk, pregnancy, sexual health, fertility and
infertility. They will be keen to discuss gender stereotyping,
violence, exploitation, the law, and discrimination. Learning about
the relationship between self esteem and body image and how to
challenge negative messages from peers, the media and society is
Questions to help you understand what young
people want to learn about are listed in themes below.
- What are the challenges of long-term commitments and the
qualities needed for successful loving relationships?
- What issues can be difficult to talk about in intimate
relationships for example sexual pleasure and contraception and how
can this be addressed?
- What is the psychological and emotional impact of relationships
breaking up, loss, grief and death? What help and support is
- How can I be assertive in communicating with others?
- How can I be a better listener?
- What is the experience like of 'coming out' about being gay,
lesbian or bisexual to family and friends?
- What is the experience like of disclosing positive HIV status
to a sexual partner, family and friends?
- What are some of the challenges of parenting?
- How can parents and wider families support children in their
social and emotional development?
- How do I think children should be educated about sex and
- How can power in a relationship be affected by gender?
Feelings and attitudes
- What are realistic and unrealistic standards for bodily
- How can bodily appearance be changed and what is the impact of
- How are bodily appearance, self-esteem and behaviour
- How can I recognise depression and mental health problems
linked to poor self-esteem?
- Is there such a thing as self-esteem that is too high?
- What are gender norms and attitudes to gender equality in
- What are my personal values about gender roles and gender
- What does transgender mean and how can I challenge
Influences on behaviour
- What is the impact of culture and law in determining what is
considered acceptable and unacceptable sexual behaviour in society
and how has this changed over time?
- Do peer norms impact on the use of condoms and
What is the impact of the media on self-esteem and expectations
about our bodies, sex and relationships?
- How can negative messages from our peers, the media and society
- Does pornography present particular values in relation to
power, gender and sexual behaviour?
- What forms of pornography are illegal?
- What protection does the law offer in protecting against
discrimination on the grounds of gender and sexual
Keeping safe and looking after my sexual
- What is the difference between efficacy and
effectiveness of contraceptive methods?
- What are the pregnancy, STI and HIV risks of anal
and oral sex and of non-penetrative sexual activity?
- What are the dangers of erotic
- How does sexual functioning and reproductive
capacity vary across our lives?
What are some of the causes and impacts of infertility and what
fertility treatment options are available?
- Is it problematic to use alcohol and drugs to
increase sexual confidence and reduce sexual inhibitions?
- What are some of the key signs of sexual
People who can help me/Sources of help and
- Do I know how to access sexual health services in
my local area including services for contraception, abortion and
- How can I stand up for the right to affordable and
confidential health services?
- How can I confidently give information to peers
about sexual health and services available to them?
questions for other age groups