Opinion: Relationships & sex education now mandatory in English schools – Australia should do the same

Jacqueline Hendriks,The Conversation, September 9, 2020 6.07am AEST

Relationships and sex education became compulsory throughout schools in England at the beginning of September 2020. In primary schools the course will focus on relationships, while secondary schools will include topics such as managing intimate relationships, consent and online behaviour.

Schools — including government, independent and faith-based — must also develop a specific relationships and sex education policy that reflects their community and involves engagement with families.

In contrast, Australia’s relationships and sex education response is not clearly directed or regulated. Its delivery varies widely and often fails to support the personal and social development of young people.

 

Case report: HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder & myelopathy in patient with preserved CD4, but high viral load

HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder and HIV-associated myelopathy in a patient with a preserved CD4, but high viral load-a rarely reported phenomenon: a case report and literature review. 

Ayele, B.A., Amogne, W. & Gemechu, L.

BMC Infect Dis 20, 574 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-020-05297-9

This case supports the current understanding regarding the persistent occurrence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder and HIV-associated myelopathy even decades after introduction of cART. Therefore, it’s important to screen HIV+ patients for the HAND and HAM even if they have relatively preserved immunity.

Because patient can be easily shifted to ART drugs with better CNS penetrating potential to achieve acceptable virological suppression level, to observe sound clinical improvement.

Free workshop series on Sexuality and Intellectual Disability

South Australian Council on Intellectual Disability, July 2020

Sexuality and Relationships is an essential area of learning for people with an intellectual disability. Adults with intellectual disability say they want to learn together in their own right. Parents and carers can make a big difference in small ways by improving their own knowledge and using supportive approaches.

These interactive workshops will be presented in both the northern and southern suburbs of Adelaide. All workshops are free of charge.

Handouts and resources will be provided during the workshops.

Workshops for parents of people with intellectual disability: Each region will have a set of four 1-day education workshops for parents. The introductory workshop Sexuality and Disability is offered three times. It is recommended that you try to attend one of these sessions before attending others. You can enrol in one or more of the workshops. The Puberty and Adolescence Workshop will be held at the Special Education Resource Unit of the Department of Education in Henley Beach (SERU). This is so that parents of school-age children can become familiar with the range of resources available to them and their children for use at home and at school.
Other sessions will be held in a variety of venues. Parents will have first priority and support workers may also attend if numbers allow.

There will also be a series of four workshops for adults with intellectual disability.

Please see flyer for more information.

Call for allies to step up with LGBTQ distress ‘worse than after postal survey’

Sydney Morning Herald, February 23, 2020

Four out of five LGBTQ+ people say they feel worse now than they did after the “yes” vote on same-sex marriage, describing the debate over religious discrimination as “Marriage Equality 2.0” because it is amplifying negative voices.

The findings are from the Make Love Louder report by Macquarie University researcher Shirleene Robinson.

It found three out of four LGBTQ+ Australians have personally experienced negativity or discrimination on the basis of their sexual or gender identity and one in four experience it on a daily basis. For transgender Australians, four out of five have experienced it, two out of five on a daily basis.

The research suggests 63 per cent of Australians support the LGBTQ+ community, but three out of four of these, dubbed allies, are “silent supporters”. Dr Robinson said it was important for allies to be vocal to “make love louder than hate”.

Meanwhile, separate research by mental health charity Headspace found most LGBTQ+ young people experience high or very high psychological distress.

 

 

A sex-positive approach in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights programming for youth

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), February 2020

IPPF have created the new resource pack: A sex-positive approach in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights programming for youth.

Please start with opening the toolkit which provides additional guidelines on how to use the resources. The toolkit is interlinked with the videos and the presentation hence going through the manual will navigate you through all materials available.

 

Australia’s Gen Z Study

Australia’s Gen Zs: negotiating religion, sexuality & diversity

ANU, Deakin and Monash Universities, 2019.

Contemporary teenagers (Gen Z) are exposed to diversity in ways that are unprecedented, through social media, school and peers. How do they experience and understand religious, spiritual, gender and sexual diversity?

How are their experiences mediated by where they go to school, their faith and their geographic location? Are they materialist, secular, religious, spiritual, or do they have hybrid identities? How religiously literate are they? How is this shaping their worldviews?

The Australian Gen Z study provides a powerful insight into how teenagers are making sense of the world around them. This Australian Research Council funded project creates new ways of understanding the complexity of young people’s lives and the ways they are apprehending and dealing with diversity. We argue school education about worldviews is founded on ways of thinking about young people that do not reflect the complexities of Gen Z’s everyday experiences of diversity and their interactions with each other.

In October 2019 the first project report was released as part of the AGZ Study.