Values in Sex Education: From Principles to Practice

By J. Mark Halstead; Michael J. Reiss | Go to book overview

Chapter 12

Sex education in the secondary phase

The purpose and context of Chapter 12
This chapter should be read after Chapter 11. In Chapter 11, in addition to considering sex education in the primary phase, we spell out the purpose and context of Chapters 11 and 12 and deal with a number of fundamental, generic issues such as:
• principles of school sex education
• teaching approaches and strategies
• ground rules and confidentiality
• liaising with parents and the local community
• using visitors to teach aspects of school sex education
• peer education.

In this chapter we concentrate on school sex education for 11/12 to 16 year olds, though we do say a little about sex education for 16-19 year olds and adults. As in Chapter 11, we focus on what an approach to school sex education that takes values to heart might look like and why.


Teaching about conception and contraception

In the secondary phase, teaching about conception is typically done in the context of biology lessons. The advantage of this is that biology (within science) is generally a privileged subject in the sense that it is of high status and is usually taught by specialists. There is a long and accepted tradition in biology of teaching about reproduction, so teaching about conception is likely to be factually accurate. At the same time, some biology teachers and authors of textbooks may not have reflected very deeply on the hidden assumptions of their teaching or authoring. In a study of 15 science textbooks widely used in England and Wales for teaching 14-16 year olds about human reproduction, Reiss (1988b) found that, for example, only 5 of the books referred to the clitoris, either in the

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Values in Sex Education: From Principles to Practice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Acknowledgements x
  • Part 1 1
  • Chapter 1 - Why Values Are Central to Sex Education 3
  • Chapter 2 - Diversity and Change in Sexual Attitudes and Values 15
  • Chapter 3 - Children's Voices and Children's Values 31
  • Part 2 55
  • Chapter 4 - Liberal Values 57
  • Chapter 5 - Pleasure, Recreation, Health and Well-Being 70
  • Chapter 6 - Religious Values 86
  • Chapter 7 - Family Values 107
  • Chapter 8 - Love 120
  • Part 3 135
  • Chapter 9 - Aims for School Sex Education 137
  • Chapter 10 - Frameworks for School Sex Education 154
  • Part 4 169
  • Chapter 11 - Sex Education in the Primary Phase 171
  • Chapter 12 - Sex Education in the Secondary Phase 188
  • References 205
  • Index 227
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