Helping young people develop healthy relationships and sexuality
How is viewing online pornography, which very often shows aggressive, non-consensual and ‘unhealthy’ or even illegal behaviour, affecting young people’s views on relationships?
University of Canterbury (UC) relationship and sexuality education (RSE) expert Tracy Clelland would like all parents to talk to their children about pornography. The resources, which she has contributed to, on the Classification Office website, pictured above, are helpful.
The hour-long conversation is enlightening and concerning, but also shows a way forward in discussing and addressing a difficult topic that can be challenging for young people, teachers and, especially, parents.
“I have a real passion for changing the kōrero around this topic,” Clelland says. “I’ve had 30 years facilitating learning in the sexuality space… and over the last few years there has been a big shift in what young people can see and how they can access information.”
Alongside being a health lecturer at UC, Clelland is also the mother of two teenage boys and discussions with them have been invaluable to her understanding of their perspective. Other young people still tell her that it is still difficult to talk about relationships and sexuality with adults.
Young people are asking questions in class around pornography, but some teachers are saying ‘it’s not something we talk about’.