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ERIC Number: EJ810979
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-1468-1811
How Do National Newspapers Report on Sex and Relationship Education in England?
Simey, Piers; Wellings, Kaye
Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, v8 n3 p357-370 Aug 2008
Issues relating to the sexual behaviour and sexual health of young people consistently capture newspaper headlines in the UK. The present paper provides a qualitative analysis of national newspaper articles reporting on sex and relationship education (SRE) within the context of teenage pregnancy. Overall, conservative newspapers were generally less supportive of SRE, while the liberal and left-wing press was more supportive. Across newspaper titles, classroom SRE was described as inadequate at best, the potential for peer educators was highlighted and greater parental involvement in SRE was advocated. The need to raise the priority status of SRE was broadly backed by the broadsheets, but proposals for compulsory primary school SRE were framed as scandalous in some tabloids and the quality of evidence supporting SRE was frequently questioned. Abstinence programmes were promoted within moralistic discourse in two newspapers, although other titles focused on the ineffectiveness of abstinence-based approaches. There was extensive opposition to explicitness and discussion of non-penetrative sex in SRE, with sensationalist headlines accompanying negative commentary on one British SRE programme. It is suggested that making SRE a statutory component of the National Curriculum could help reduce the vulnerability of SRE to such newspaper agenda setting in the future. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures, and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom