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.

Let’s make it mandatory to teach respectful relationships in every Australian school

The Conversation, May 28, 2019 5.45am AEST

Media reports of findings from the latest National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey caused a stir in recent days, with some highlighting the importance of education programs to teach young people about gender-based violence.

Schools play a significant role in educating young people about gender-based violence and helping change the underlying attitudes that lead to it.

National abortion data vital to safe, accessible services

MJA InSight+, Issue 10 / 18 March 2019

EXPERTS are in the dark about the extent to which abortion is contributing to Australia’s historically low teenage birth rate, prompting renewed calls for the collection of national abortion data.

In a Perspective published by the MJA, Professor Susan Sawyer, Chair of Adolescent Health at the University of Melbourne, and Dr Jennifer Marino, research fellow at the University of Melbourne, have called for the collection of abortion data in all states and territories, with national integration and analysis. They further called for publicly funded abortion clinics in all states and territories, with a feasible plan for access for people living in remote areas.

Condom handouts in schools prevent disease without encouraging sex

The Guardian,

Making condoms available to teenagers at school does not make them more promiscuous – but neither does it reduce teenage pregnancy rates.

According to a major review by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), giving out condoms in secondary schools does not increase sexual activity, or encourage young people to have sex at an earlier age.

The research, thought to be the largest review of scientific literature on the issue, found that introducing condoms to schools reduced sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Scotland to embed LGBTI teaching across curriculum

The Guardian, 9/12/2018

Scotland will become the first country in the world to embed the teaching of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights in the school curriculum, in what campaigners have described as a historic moment.

State schools will be required to teach pupils about the history of LGBTI equalities and movements, as well as tackling homophobia and transphobia and exploring LGBTI identity, after ministers accepted in full the recommendations of a working group led by the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign. There will be no exemptions or opt-outs to the policy, which will embed LGBTI inclusive education across the curriculum and across subjects and which the Scottish government believes is a world first.

Call for Papers: Edited Collection on Sexuality and Sexual Identities in Literature for Young People

Deakin University, October 2018

Acknowledging the capacity of literature to reflect and shape significant aspects of human development, this collection of essays takes as its central theme the representation of sexuality and sexual identities in texts for young people. Previous scholarship has established important connections between sexuality and gender, as well as sexuality and queerness, in literature for children and young adults. Investigations have also been made into the way particular genres and individual texts deal with desire, sex and sexuality.

This collection builds upon these individual approaches, while extending out to the analysis of various forms and incarnations of sexuality, across genres, texts and time periods. Keeping sexuality and sexual identities in writing for young people as its core focus, it will include analysis and discussion of representations of heterosexualities, homonormativity, trans subjectivities, asexuality, and the intersections between sexuality and other identity categories such as gender, race and class, across a range of texts and readerships.

The editors therefore welcome abstracts that revisit historical approaches to the study of childhood/adolescence and sexuality in literature, as well as those that provide contemporary and forward-looking models that take account of current and emerging sexual identities. Similarly, they welcome a wide range of theoretical approaches to this subject matter.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

• Sex and sexuality in historical literature for children
• Same-sex desire in young adult fiction from Stonewall to the AIDS era
• Hetero- and homo-normative families in picture books and junior fiction
• “Straightness” in junior and/or young adult fiction
• Queer spaces and queer geographies in writing for young people
• Trans identities in children’s texts
• Intersections between sexuality and race, class, gender, ability, age and/or nationality
• Transnational approaches to sex and sexuality
• Connections between romance narratives and ideologies around sex and sexuality
• Religion/religious themes and sexual morality
• “Post-gay” identities in millennial writing for young people
• The role of genre in depictions of sex and sexuality for young people

  • Please submit abstracts of up to 300 words and a biographical note of up to 150 words to Dr Kristine Moruzi  and Dr Paul Venzo  by December 1, 2018. Full papers of 6000 words will be due by May 1, 2019.