In August, PBJ interns designed a research project looking at comprehensive sexual health education in BVSD. As part of the research process, interns critically assessed their own sex education experiences, conducted interviews with community members, synthesized their data into claims, and designed a survey for BVSD students that will hopefully launch during the school year.
Among other things, the interns expressed a desire for a sexual health education experience that was honest and more relevant to their lives, and that was more inclusive of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations. The interns also articulated a need for more conversation around consent, sexual assault, healthy relationship, and positive sexuality, both in and outside of the classroom.
From the interviews, which included teachers, parents, and peer, the students found that many people associate shame or guilt with their past sex education experiences, that students rarely take the sex education that they receive in school seriously, and that a comprehensive sex education should have more inclusive and positive representations of varying identities.
At the end of the internship, one student reflected, “ I was given a better understanding of the role of sexual health education in society, it’s diverse impacts, the reasons underpinning its necessity, and the diversity of society, that it must seek to encompass… In engaging with the community and encountering various perspectives on experiences of sex ed programmes, I was able to increase my appreciation for and fascination with individuals’ unique experiences.” Another commented, “Not only did [the internship] teach me more about Sexual Health — but I also learned and developed many skills outside of just knowledge, including interviewing, communication, teamwork, in depth thought about our audience… how to gather good and important information for a conclusion and so much more.”
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