Sexual Relationships

Lesson objectives:

  1. To develop an awareness of what statistics tell us about teenagers and sexual relationships.
  2. To understand that romantic/sexual relationships require a level of communication that other relationships don’t.
  3. To begin to understand the idea of setting or negotiating physical, sexual and emotional boundaries in a relationship.

Lesson powerpoint here

1. What’s normal in teenage relationships?

  • Start with statement ‘teenagers are just not ready for sexual relationships’ (on powerpoint). Ask students to discuss in groups whether they agree/disagree and jot ideas on A3.
  • Feedback. Perhaps explore the idea of what it means to be ‘ready’ for a sexual relationship and the different types of ‘readiness’ (e.g. that physical and emotional readiness are not the same things).
  • Give students the ‘teenagers and sex’ info (also summarised on ppt).
  • Does this change or confirm their view of what sexual relationships are like for teenagers? Discuss the difference between perceptions/portrayals of teenagers’ experiences of sexual relationships and the reported findings of these surveys. Discuss the role of ‘juvenoia’: the fears that some adults have that young people are always up to no good.

2. Hopes and fears.

  • Ask pupils to discuss in small groups 1. what they hope for from relationships, 2. what they fear/are worried about with relationships.
  • Discuss as a whole class: look for common hopes/fears. Dispel any myths.

3. Relationships talk and boundaries.

  • Give students the statement ‘people are ready for different things at different times.’
  • Play Jay’s Girlfriend clip (N.B., it’s from The Inbetweeners, so there is some swearing and sexual language.)
  • Ask pupils to analyse the nature/quality of communication in the 3 scenes: Jay and Chloe in Jay’s bedroom; in the common room; the break-up conversation. What did they think was good/what did they think wasn’t good?
  • Ask students to think about the kind of conversations that are unique to romantic relationships: jot down on A3.
  • Get ideas up on the board (there are some on a slide as a prompt if they are struggling).
  • Ask students, in small groups, to pick one or two tricky relationships conversations from the board and work out how to go about them: give them the ‘things to think about’ slide as a prompt.
  • Feedback. What techniques do we need to employ when discussing difficult topics in relationships? Ask students to role play their examples (if they are comfortable).

4. Some things are unacceptable.

  • Ask students to discuss what they think is unacceptable within sexual relationships. Do they all agree? What does this tell us? How can they use what they have already reflected on this lesson to resolve the fact that we find different things unacceptable?
  • Either: play ‘would you stop yourself?‘ advert against abuse within relationships, or play ‘Juliet’s StoryThis is the story of a woman who was raped and it makes upsetting viewing. Please warn them beforehand or avoid showing it if you think it best.
  • What do the students think about these two stimuli? What questions do they raise about what is acceptable within relationships?