Gender Equality and Wellbeing through the lens of Sex and Relationships.

Abstract:

This series of images explores the issues of gender equality and wellbeing, and the connections between them, through young people’s thoughts on sex and relationships.

The quotes pictured are taken from surveys of 30 young people (aged 16–21) from across the UK. The survey was conducted by new sex education organisation, Sexplain, with the aim of finding out what the best SRE (Sex and Relationships Education) curriculum would include, and young people’s experiences of SRE so far. (See here for more about the research.)

The quotes reveal young people’s wide ranging experiences of, and feelings about, gender inequality and gender stereotypes: from anxiety about sexual performance and coercive relationships, to anger about the erasure of female sexuality and LGBTQIA+ experiences in society.

Descriptions of SRE in school highlight how mainstream education has served to perpetuate gender inequality and heteronormativity, and the language in some reveals the level of gender violence that still exists in UK schools today.

Although the tone of the quotes ranges from bemusement to outrage, the connection between gender in society and wellbeing is clear: that society’s rigid gender constructs, which our current education system fails to challenge, has a damaging impact on young people’s wellbeing.

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