Sex & Relationships: Expectations, Options and Choices

Love for Life were at Dreamscheme Braniel in November and December to deliver a three-part workshop called ‘Picture This’. Love for Life seek to influence change in society so that young people hold a healthy respect for themselves, relationships and sex. You can perhaps imagine that for the young people the opportunity to spend three weeks talking about sex and relationships represents quite a strong motivator! 

Between 8 and 18 a young person will be exposed to 90,000 images of sex or suggested sex. They don’t have to wake in a cold sweat and go hunting for these – when it comes to music videos, computer games, movies, social media or advertising this is simply the new normal.

Between 8 and 18 a young person will be exposed to 90,000 images of sex or suggested sex

This is without even considering more ‘hardcore’ material that has journeyed from the generally inaccessible sex shop to the instant-access, 24hr and entirely free-to-view smartphone. A hyper-sexualised culture can make for a dizzying and exciting but thoroughly confusing education about relationships and sex as young people are consistently expected to decipher conflicting messages. 

The programme at Dreamscheme was designed to help young people think about what they really value and hope for or expect when it comes to healthy relationships and sex.

We always have a choice.

It was great to consider that we always have a choice. It was also important to consider a reality that is rarely demonstrated in the popular media or among peers: choices really can have emotional, physical, social, legal and physiological consequences. This was combined with up-to-date and accurate information about pregnancy, pregnancy options, STI’s and contraception.

The goal is not so much to impose choices upon young people but to help them makes choices they are happy with, confident about and have reflected on carefully.

Above all, we want to young people to make decisions that respect all that they are worth, the inherent value of other people and all the potential of their future so that they can get the very best of life and flourish in every way. 

The levels of participation and banter from the group were outstanding – it’s an incredibly easy job when your passion for the subject is matched by the enthusiasm from the young people! 

Thanks guys & see you soon…. 

 

GUEST AUTHOR

Jonny Campbell, Programme Developer @ Love for Life