Strategies for inclusion and equality – ‘norm-critical’ sex education in Sweden

Sex Education, 2019,  DOI: 10.1080/14681811.2019.1634042
Abstract:
This article examines the tactical (counter) politics of inclusive and ‘norm-critical’ approaches in Swedish sex education, focusing on the enactment of this critical agenda in sex education practices and how teachers interpret and negotiate the possibilities and pitfalls of this kind of work.
The analysis draws on participant observation in sex education practices and in-service teacher training, as well as interviews with educators.
Three recurrent strategies lie at the centre of the analysis: the sensitive use of language to achieve inclusion; the organisation and incorporation of ‘sensitive’ content to resist stigmatisation; and the use of different modalities to produce a specific knowledge order.
The analysis shows how these strategies are grounded in norm-critical ideals, which become partly inflicted with tensions and discomforts when acted out in practice. The  analysis further shows how an inclusive and norm-critical agenda runs the risk of becoming static, in the sense of providing students with the results of critique rather than engaging them in it.

Cultural Safety workshops with Khadija Gbla (free event)

Morella Community Centre in collaboration with Khadija Gbla, October 2019

WHAT IS CULTURAL SAFETY?

Cultural safety is identified as “an environment that is safe for people: where there is no assault, challenge or denial of their identity, of who they are and what they need. It is about shared respect, shared meaning, shared knowledge and experience, of learning, living and working together with dignity and truly listening”.

Culturally safe practices include actions which recognize and respect the cultural identities of others and safely meet their needs, expectations and rights. Alternatively, culturally unsafe practices are those that “diminish, demean or disempower the cultural identity and well-being of an individual”.

Through these workshops, participants will develop an understanding of cultural safety and how to apply cultural safety principles into their work and personal life.

WORKSHOP TOPICS:
SESSION 1: Friday 8th November – Introduction to Cultural Safety
SESSION 2: Friday 22nd November – Cultural Safety, an Educational context*
*This session is aimed for anyone working in an education setting
SESSION 3: Friday 6th December – Cultural Safety for Service Providers

TIME: 10am -11:30am for all workshop topics.

LOCATION: MORELLA COMMUNITY CENTRE
90 Kings Road, Parafield Gardens SA 5107

COST: Free

FACILITATOR: Khadija Gbla is a very passionate and inspiring African-Australian woman. She is an award-winning human rights activist, leader and inspirational speaker.
Khadija Gbla was born in Sierra Leone, spent her youth in Gambia, and as a teenager put down roots in Australia. Khadija was just 3 years old when the war broke out in her country, Sierra Leone and 10 years later they attained refugee status and resettled in Adelaide.
Khadija continues to provide advocacy, training, speaking on domestic and family violence, child protection, racism, human rights, refugees and cultural diversity through her cultural consultancy. She is the co-founder of The Desert Flower Centre and foundation Australia. The Desert Flower Australia is the first centre in Australia and the Asia pacific region that specialises in providing medical care and reconstructive surgery for women impacted by female genital mutilation. Khadija is a TEDX speaker with close to 2 million views on her talk, “My mother’s strange definition of empowerment”. She has represented Australia in the international arena at the Harvard National Model United Nations, Commonwealth Youth Forum and Australian and African Dialogue, Commonwealth heads of states Women’s forum etc. she has displayed great courage and determination in achieving her aspiration of giving women, youth and minority groups a voice at local, state and international level.

Report: 6th National Survey of Australian Secondary Students and Sexual Health

Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS), 2019

The Secondary Students and Adolescent Sexual Health survey is a national study exploring the sexual health and well-being of Australian adolescents. The anonymous survey asks questions about knowledge, behaviour and educational experiences related to sexual health and well-being.

The Commonwealth Department of Health funded study has been conducted approximately every 5 years since 1992. This is the 6th time the survey has been conducted in Australia. Results play a vital role in safeguarding the nation’s health by informing the national strategies to prevent HIV, sexually transmissible infections and blood-borne viruses as well as providing valuable information to improve service provision and education across multiple sectors.

UNESCO paper busts myths about comprehensive sexuality education

UNESCO, 2019

Comprehensive sexuality education is an essential part of a good quality education that improves sexual and reproductive health, argues Facing the Facts, a new policy paper by the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report at UNESCO that seeks to dispel social and political resistance to sexuality education in many countries.

Globally, each year, 15 million girls marry before the age of 18, some 16 million 15-19 year olds and one million girls under 15 give birth. Young people moreover account for a third of new HIV infections among adults and across 37 low and middle-income countries, yet only approximately one third of people aged 15-24 years have comprehensive knowledge of HIV prevention and transmission.

Secondary students’ sexual health survey results

La Trobe University, 11th June 2019

The sixth National Survey of Australian Secondary Students and Sexual Health, conducted in 2018 and released today, found 47 per cent of Year 10-12 students taking the survey had engaged in sexual intercourse.  Of sexually active respondents, 76 per cent had sex at home; 65 per cent with a boyfriend or girlfriend; 62 percent often or always used a condom; and 86 per cent with somebody about the same age.

Lead researcher at La Trobe University’s Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society Dr Christopher Fisher said the survey asked 6327 Year 10-12 students in Government, Catholic and Independent schools from each state and territory, about their sexual behaviour and knowledge of sexually transmitted infections.

“Overall, young Australians have good knowledge of sexual health, are behaving responsibly and are actively seeking out trusted, reliable sources of information,” Dr Fisher said.

I looked at 100 best-selling picture books: female protagonists were largely invisible

Sarah Mokrzycki, The Conversation, June 3, 2019 6.08am AEST

In April 2019, I examined the 100 bestselling picture books at Australian book retailer Dymocks: an almost 50/50 mix of modern and classic stories (the majority being published in the past five years).

I discovered that despite the promising evolution of the rebel girl trend, the numbers tell us that picture books as a whole remain highly gendered and highly sexist. Worse – female protagonists remain largely invisible.

How we tackle gender in picture books is important, as they help inform children’s understanding of the world and themselves.