Shh…No talking: LGBT-inclusive Sex and Relationships Education in the UK (report)

Terrence Higgins Trust, July 2016

‘SRE: Shh… No Talking’ report, published in July 2016, highlighted that sex and relationships education (SRE) is inadequate or absent in many schools in the UK. The report was published following a survey of over 900 young people aged 16-24 and it revealed that:

  • 99 per cent of young people surveyed thought SRE should be mandatory in all schools
  • 97 per cent thought it should be LGBT inclusive
  • one in seven respondents had not received any SRE at all
  • over half (61 per cent) received SRE just once a year or less
  • half of young people rated the SRE they received in school as either ‘poor’ or ‘terrible’
  • just 2 per cent rated it as ‘excellent’ and only 10 per cent rated it as ‘good’
  • 95 per cent were not taught about LGBT relationships

Meanwhile, several key topics were conspicuously absent from respondents’ experiences of SRE:

  • 75 per cent of young people were not taught about consent
  • 95 per cent had not learned about LGBT sex and relationships
  • 89 per cent were not taught about sex and pleasure
  • 97 per cent missed out on any discussion around gender identity
  • three out of five respondents either didn’t remember receiving information on HIV in school (32 per cent) or didn’t receive information on HIV in school (27 per cent)

In this report THT defines LGBT-inclusive SRE as SRE which covers essential topics of relevance to LGBT people as well as heterosexual people, so as to better inform them and to promote better social tolerance and understanding of difference. This includes, but is not exclusively limited to: LGBT relationships, sex and families, coming out, the promotion of good sexual health and issues of gender identity – including how to support someone who may be transitioning.

Download report (PDF, 52 pages) here