SpunOut, the Irish youth information service, has announced the details of a new campaign which highlights the need for more informative sex education in Ireland which is also inclusive of LGBTQ+ young people.
Under the Sheets focuses on the experiences young people have had with sex education in Ireland, highlighting the gaps in learning and calling for better. Through their research on the campaign, SpunOut have found that what a lot of schools currently offer is very much lacking. Young people who have spoken with the organisation have shared that LGBTQ+ issues are rarely brought up.
In an interview with Newstalk, Illan Dunne, one of the contributors and a member of SpunOut’s action panel described, “I probably got one class in the six years of secondary school that went along the lines of ‘Gay is OK’ which is not sufficient.”
Dunne continued, “We have contributions from young people all over Ireland talking about their sex ed experience. No one got the same sex ed experience shockingly.”
Under The Sheets was created by SpunOut volunteers between the ages of 16 and 25 and is made up of online articles written by young people describing their own experiences of sex education as well as sexual health issues they’ve faced. As the campaign describes, “Under the Sheets aims to draw on aspects of sexual health that may not have been covered in the classroom, but are integral to everyone’s physical, social and mental wellbeing.”
During the summer, a draft review of the Junior Cycle SPHE syllabus was been published with officials recommending that LGBTQ+ issues be included. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) was asked in 2018 to undertake a major review of Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) in primary and post-primary schools in order to ensure that it was meeting the needs of young people in Ireland today. The group’s research concluded that the information currently being provided to students was “too little, too late and too biological,” and therefore the subject was in need of a revamp.
Learn more about the Under The Sheets campaign by SpunOut here.
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