We all have questions about sex. But not all of us get the answers we need during the most formative years of our lives.
Getting access to trustworthy, accurate, and sex positive information about sex can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
New research by UK sex education charity Fumble found that nearly 80 percent of young people don't know what to trust when seeking sex ed online.
Fumble surveyed 200 young people aged between 11 and 25 living in the UK and asked them about their experiences of looking for sex ed online, in addition to asking them about the issues they encounter online and the changes they want to see.
The survey also found that 68 percent of young people go online for sex education to find answers in private.
51 percent turned to porn for answers, but most did not find it helpful. 79 percent reported that not knowing what content is reliable or safe impacted them a lot or some of the time. And 57 percent said that seeing sexually explicit content while looking for info impacted them.
89 percent of those surveyed want access to a happy, healthy place online providing relationships and sex education (RSE) for young people.
Sex education is missing yet another crucial topic. We need to fix that.
In response to the findings, Fumble worked with young people to develop a manifesto with the major changes they want to see when it comes to accessing sex ed on the internet.
The four manifesto demands are: “1. We want a happy, healthy place online for sex education. 2. We want inclusive sex education. 3. We want to be involved in the creation of sex education content. 4. We want our parents/carers to be educated on the online world and what we face.”
The campaign is designed to raise public awareness of what young people need when they seek out sex ed.
Fumble Youth Advisory Board member Joana Baptista says the manifesto represents the hope young people have about the potential of online sex education. “It’s important that parents support this manifesto, advocating for adequate and exciting sex education,” says Baptista. “In doing so, parents will help ensure safer, healthier access to online sex education for their children and greatly contribute to reducing the issues faced by young people today.”
So far, the manifesto is backed by organisations including Brook, Tender and YoungMinds.
Fumble wants young people, parents, teachers and youth organisations to support the manifesto as a first step in making online sex education safer for young people.
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