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Young people's experiences of sexuality education

Monday, March 25, 2019

National News

In October 2018, we conducted an online survey to gather information about young people's experiences of relationship and sexuality education in school. More than 1100 young people responded to the survey. 

Most of the young people (83 per cent) identified as female. Eighty per cent of respondents were New Zealand European and 20 per cent were Māori, with respondents able to choose multiple ethnicities. Over 40 per cent were aged 16 or 17 years. 


1. Relationship and sexuality education should be taught by highly committed, well-trained teachers who regularly engage with health education professional development in this area of the curriculum. Professional development in relationship and sexuality education should be resources, accessible to teachers and current. 

2. Quality relationship and sexuality education should be guided by Sexuality Education: A guide for Principals, Boards of Trustees and Teachers (MOE, 2015). It will include learning in sexual health, reproduction, gender and sexual diversity, identity, relationships, consent, as well as contemporary issues (such as pornography). Quality sexuality education will centralise identities and relationships. 

3. All schools should formally timetable relationship and sexuality education from years 1-13 for at least 12-15 hours per year level, per year. 

4. School policies and processes should explicitly reflect inclusion of LGBTQI+. Takataapui, Fa'afafine and other sexually and gender diverse students, staff and whānau. 

Read the full report of our online survey.

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