When sex is a two minute thing...

19th November 2004 at 00:00
Teenage girls talk openly about their sexual experiences in a new educational video. Adi Bloom reports

Teenage girls are to give teachers lessons in the real issues of sex education. In a video made available to schools, they discuss candidly how they would kick their boyfriends out of bed if they refused to use a condom.

They also talk openly about peer pressure and the differences between love and sex. "Love can last for ever," one girl says. "Sex is just a two-minute thing."

The 20-minute video, produced by the Family Planning Association, is part of Girls Out Loud, a pack published this week, which will be available for sex education professionals.

The pack includes a teachers' handbook, with role-play exercises and suggestions for group discussion. It also provides a booklet for teenage girls, telling them how to examine their genitals with a hand-mirror, and how to cope with same-sex crushes. And it explains how women masturbate and what an orgasm will feel like.

Anne Weyman, FPA chief executive, said: "Sex education should be more than just biology. Teenagers can see that adults are motivated by sex and relationships, so they realise there's a whole bit of the story missing.

You need to discuss the emotional, positive and pleasurable sides of sex."

This was echoed by Audrey Simpson, who developed the video, interviewing teenagers for the FPA.

She said: "It's providing life skills. Even adults make mistakes. Sometimes you're with someone and the hairs go up on the back of your neck and all good intentions go out of the window.

"That's what life and sex are about. But we need to give teenagers the skills to make decisions that are right at particular times in their lives." Girls Out Loud was produced in response to extended discussions with 13 to 19-year-olds across Britain, conducted by the FPA.

This research revealed that many pupils have sex to keep up with their peers, despite believing that it should ideally take place only within a loving relationship.

Readiness can also be subjective. Ms Weyman said: "You ask young people if they're in a steady relationship, and they say, yes. Then you ask how long it's lasted, and they'll say one or two weeks."

Rahima Choudhury, head of personal, health and social education at Kingsford comprehensive, in east London, believes that pupils will benefit from listening to other teenagers speaking candidly. "Teenagers love looking at things from other teenagers' perspectives," she said. "They get bored talking to teachers all the time. So anything that is a little bit different helps."

The release of Girls Out Loud coincides with the suggestion by Margaret Hodge, the children's minister, that schoolgirls should be able to have contraceptive injections to cut teenage pregnancies.

www.fpa.org.uk

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