Workshop Overview

This workshop will look at how representations of relationships and sex in the media can influence attitudes and expectations about intimate relationships.

By exploring what makes for a happy, healthy, respectful relationship and comparing this to common themes in pornography, such as male dominance, submissive females and stereotypical body types, students are encouraged to consider the negative impact of pornography and the pressures it creates for young people to behave or look a certain way.

Research commissioned by the NSPCC revealed that 53 per cent of boys and 39 per cent of girls who have viewed pornography see it as a realistic depiction of sex. This workshop will dispel that myth, along with many others surrounding pornography.  Taking a sex positive approach and exploring expectations, ideals and attitudes surrounding healthy, consensual relationships, challenging the unrealistic stereotypical representation of body types in the media, as well as clarifying the law surrounding indecent images of under 18’s.

Considerations about how the impact on the brain and its natural production of endorphins can be hampered by excessive use of pornography similar to that of a drug addict, and can lead to impotency and difficulties with arousal.

Pupils are encouraged to recognize that healthy relationships are ones that make us feel happy, safe and loved and that intimacy is something that comes in time with trust and respect, not from unrealistic expectations derived from media or pornography. This workshop is designed for pupils in Year 9 and above.

This workshop will help pupils to;

Recognise the qualities and behaviours they should expect and exhibit in a wide range of positive relationships

Understand how to access local health services and other sources of support

Understand the use of contraception and the importance of negotiating appropriate and safe use with sexual partners

Recognise that some infections can be spread through sexual activity

Recognise how the media portrays young people and its impact on body image and health issues

Understand that identity is affected by a range of factors including the media and a positive sense of self worth

Understand that some infections can be spread through sexual activity

Understand that relationships can cause strong feelings and emotions including sexual attraction

Recognise the features of positive stable relationships and that the media portrayal of relationships may not reflect real life

Understand what the expectations of having a girlfriend/boyfriend might be

Consider different level of intimacy and their consequences

Acknowledge and respect the right to not have intimate relationships until ready and recognise readiness for sex and the benefits of delaying sexual activity

Acknowledge that consent is freely given and that being pressurised, manipulated or coerced to agree to something is not consent and that the seeker of consent is responsible for ensuring that consent has been given

About the law in relation to consent

Seek the consent of another person and be sure that consent has been given; how to assertively withhold or withdraw consent

Recognise peer pressure and develop strategies for managing this

Acknowledge the safe and responsible use of ICT

Establish clear personal boundaries around aspects of their lives they wish to be private and understanding their right to privacy

Manage any request or pressure to share an image of themselves or others and who to talk to if they have concerns

Understand when the sharing of explicit images may constitute a criminal offence

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