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).

More Support for Young People with Complex Mental Health Needs

Adelaide phn, February 7 2019

Adelaide PHN and Sonder have opened the doors to emerge – a new, free service in Adelaide’s outer northern and outer southern metropolitan regions, specifically created to help people from 16-25 years old who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing severe and complex mental illness.

The program aims to help young people who might otherwise “fall through the cracks”.

Commissioned and funded by Adelaide PHN as part of a suite of mental health services across the metropolitan region, emerge has a specific focus on young people dealing with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, psychosis, trauma and borderline personality disorder, where these conditions are having a significant impact on their lives.

Emerge will provide these young people with access to client and family-centred treatment that is specialised, clinical and evidence-based.

Within the new program, the young person, their family, clinicians, peer workers, care coordinators etc. will work as a team towards the goal of wellness and recovery.

Emerge will operate from Sonder-run headspace centres – Edinburgh North and Onkaparinga – with services commencing on 11 February 2019.

Referrals can be received from GPs and other primary health care providers. Alternatively, young people can self-refer or be referred through a school or community worker. Families, carers or friends can also refer on behalf of the young person, however these referrals must take place with the person’s consent.

Adelaide PHN has also provided funding for additional youth mental health services at headspace Adelaide and Port Adelaide, and will announce further mental health services for Aboriginal youth in the coming months.

For further information about emerge, please contact Sonder on (08) 8209 0700 or visit the website www.sonder.net.au.

For more information about Adelaide PHN visit  adelaidephn.com.au.

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.

Australian sex education isn’t diverse enough. Here’s why we should follow England’s lead.

The Conversation, 7 August 2018

By David Rhodes, Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Edith Cowan University

How children are taught about sex, relationships and sexuality at school is shaping up to be a political hot potato in Australia (again).

It’s already been slated to be an issue in the Victorian state elections later this year. That’s just a short time from being on the agenda during the same-sex marriage debate.

Now a radical shift in how children in England are taught about sex, relationships and sexuality promises to be the biggest reform of its kind in nearly 20 years. Here’s what Australia can learn from the new English system.