Project Details

Description

Rationale: Debate regarding sex and relationship education in educational institutions, and the extent to which the state (and by extension educational institutions) should be involved in sex and relationship education are intensifying within the UK and across the globe. Within this crucible can also be found the ready access that young people have to online technologies, social media, and online pornography, which have the potential to influence young people’s understanding of gender, sex, sexuality, sexual and interpersonal relationships. Despite the centrality of sex and relationship education in children’s and young people’s well-being and development, sex and relationship education is still an underdeveloped research topic regarding state policy outside of medical and health research. In some cases, this lack of research-informed practice, combined with the stigma attached to discussing certain “taboo” topics, means that many educational practitioners feel uncomfortable in delivering sex and relationship education to young people. This Special Interest Group aims to bring researchers from across the University of Portsmouth (and in time from the charity sector (provisional links have been agreed with the CEO of the RSHE charity The School of Sexuality Education) and from practitioner spaces) to develop innovative and research-driven approaches to state policy and practitioner delivery of sex and relationship education that sees sex and relationship education as having much broader relevance than reproductive health, setting sex and relationship education within a framework of human rights, social justice, and gender equality. To this end invitations to the proposed SIG have been sent to, discussed and agreed in principle with colleagues in SCCJ and SASSHPL. Further explorations of potential memberships are underway to develop the interdisciplinary make-up of the group which would provide a diversity of thought, approach and strategy. Such diversity of membership should strengthen the forms of engagement with research, innovation and practice.

Aims: To generate sustained world-leading research on sex and relationship education across disciplines, which will have a transformative societal impact through influencing the creation, interpretation, and amelioration of legal and social norms on sex and relationship education nationally and internationally at practitioner and governmental levels.

Priorities: We recognise the evolving landscape of sex and relationship education and, therefore, are open to diverse priorities connected to the research area of sex and relationship education. Our priorities for this group are based on interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange with internal and external collaborators, to enable holistic perspectives and understanding to develop comprehensive understandings of the impacts and intersections of sex and relationships education policy and practice.

Layperson's description

This Special Interest Research Group brings together academics from across the university as well as external practitioners and research active academics to debate, interrogate and research aspects of sex and sexuality education using a cross discipline approach.
AcronymSSERG
StatusActive
Effective start/end date13/03/24 → …

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions