Sex education inadequate at many schools - report

Long Lunch 12/09/2018
Photo: Getty.

Sexuality education is inconsistently delivered across New Zealand high schools, according to a new report.

An Education Review Office (ERO) review of sexuality education has found that many schools are not delivering an appropriate curriculum for today’s tech-savvy teens.  

As the first review since 2007, it found that fewer than half of secondary schools were covering porn and sexual violence.

I think it’s a really difficult conversation for teachers to have.

"To meet the needs of young people in our current context, sexuality education needs to be more comprehensive and the variability across schools needs to be reduced," the report reads.

Dr Deirdre Shaw from the ERO told RadioLIVE that while the curriculum is clear, many teachers struggle to teach such sensitive topics.

“I think it’s a really difficult conversation for teachers to have,” said Dr Shaw.

Teachers are just not getting the support they need to teach the curriculum comfortably and confidently, says Dr Shaw.

High school students should be learning more about consent, gender identity, pornography and sexual violence, according to the report.

Both teachers and students agreed that pornography needs to be taught more in-depth in order to teach students about fantasy versus reality.

One in ten students found that their sexuality education was tailored to their needs, suggesting that schools should listen to their students to make their curriculum all the more valuable.

The ERO report was based on visits to 116 schools around New Zealand.

Listen to the full interview with Deirdre Shaw above.

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.