Lesson powerpoint here.


  • “Before we start, is anybody embarrassed?” Ask the class why we feel embarrassed talking about sex, especially with adults.
  • Why is it important for us to overcome embarrassment about talking about sex and how do we do that? Students work in groups to devise strategies.
  • Discuss.

What is sexuality?

  • Give students A3 sheets with human outline/images on. Ask students in groups to answer the four questions on the sheet: what is sexuality? Where does human sexuality exist in the body? Is sexuality the same for everyone? Does sexuality change over time/ as we get older?
  • Discuss. What do the students think are the important issues surrounding sexuality?
  • Introduce students to the 2 ideas of sexuality on the slide. One is that sexuality fits neatly into 3 separate boxes, the other is that sexuality is a spectrum and that we all fit somewhere along it. This idea comes from the Kinsey Scale
  • The Kinsey Scale is explained here.

Repression of sexuality

  • Show students examples of repression of sexuality (on slide). All of these have occurred, or still occur in human society.
  • Ask students to research one or more of these incidences of sexual repression and/or speculate on what the effects of this repression might be on individuals and societies (female circumcision is currently (2015) a hot topic in the media).
  • Discuss what students have found out and how they think these things affect societies.
  • There is a choice of 2 stories to use to illustrate this: Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, or Nigel Owens.
  • ‘Oranges are not the only fruit’ is an example of how sexuality has sometimes been repressed (and continues to be repressed) by some communities. The drama is based on the largely autobiographical book by Jeanette Winterson.
  • Ask students what they think about what happens in this clip.
  • As an alternative, use the example of Nigel Owens, one of the most famous Rugby Union referees. Play this clip first to show him demonstrating his authority on the rugby field and then this clip next, where he talks about coming out.
  • Ask students what they think these 2 clips demonstrate about acceptance of different sexualities.

Some words are unacceptable.

  • Put the statement “That’s so GAY” up on the screen. Ask students to discuss if there’s a problem with it. What are those problems? Is the sentence inoffensive? Who does it offend? Why? Is this just political correctness?
  • Are there other expressions that cause similar problems?
  • In the light of the discussion, do the students need to do anything different from now on?

Prep: ask students to notice the effect of derogatory expressions that are sexuality/gender related (e.g. “that’s so gay”/”stop being such a girl”). Write about what they notice.