Secondary School Teacher Support for Youth Wellbeing Project Presentations (Years 9-12)

Presentation Goal: promoting safe & healthy relationships free from tech & sexualised harms

Presentation Year Levels:

  • Year 9 & 10 (ages 14, 15, 16): Brave–Standing Strong and Being Me

  • Year 11 & 12 (ages 16, 17, 18): Building connected relationships in an online world

Presentation Focus:

Each presentation is targeted for the different year levels and consists of 3 x sessions delivered by a qualified Youth Wellbeing Project educator.

  • Session One:  Healthy Identity in the midst of Hypersexualisation and Objectification
  • Session Two: Healthy Relationships
  • Session Three: Healthy Relationships & Sex

Presentations include follow up questions and activities for teachers to implement revision and inspire further discussion.

In addition, young people are provided with a QR code for a web page that includes links and resources (pre-approval required from each school).

Session Content Outline for Year 11 & 12

Session One: HEALTHY IDENTITY

Key Issue
Behaviours Addressed
Key Questions

Understanding healthy identity in the midst of hypersexualisation and objectification.

Sexual harassment & assault (online and offline).

– What do the cultural voices of pornography and social media say about identity?

– What is healthy identity? How do I want to be remembered?

– How do I deal with sexual harassment and assault?

Outcomes

1. Educate and inform students about the impacts and effects of pornography (and other cultural influencers) on their understanding of self and others.

2. Equip students to respond proactively and protectively to this issue.

Session Two: HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

Key Issue
Behaviours Addressed
Key Questions

Understanding healthy relationships in a porn rich culture.

False expectations, reduced empathy & performance management (online & offline).
Sexting.

– What does Porn culture teach us about the ‘norms’ and value of relationships?
– What do real and healthy relationships look like? What do they involve? (Powerful, honest, practical communication skills).
– Facts about sexting.

Outcomes

1. Educate and inform students about the impacts and effects of pornography and other cultural influences on their understanding of relationships.

2. Equip students to respond, and build caring, and sustainable relationships.

Session Three: HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS & SEX

Key Issue
Behaviours Addressed
Key Questions

Understanding healthy, happy relationships, and sex.

Lack of consent and increased coercion & sexual harassment / assault (online and offline).
Sexual predatory behaviours.

– What does porn culture teach us about sex and sexual relationships?
– What are the problems raised by this?
– Happy, Healthy sex?
– More than just consent.

Outcomes

1. Educate and inform students about the impacts and effects of pornography and other cultural influences on their understanding of relationships.

2. Equip students to respond, and build caring, and sustainable relationships.

Pre-session Preparation

Pornography has now become the main sex educator for a vast number of youth. To provide an idea of the statistical likelihood of young people being in some way, influenced by pornography, an Australian study published in 2017 found that 69% of boys and 23% of girls have seen pornography by age 13 or younger. This same study found that in the 15-29-year-old age bracket, 84% of young men and 19% of young women watched pornography on a weekly or daily basis. Due to the hardcore, most often violent nature of pornography, youth consumption is resulting in a significant number of harms to their physical and mental health, wellbeing and relationships.

Teens who are regularly accessing pornography can do so at the click of a button as often as they seek it out. In addition, youth are regularly absorbing hypersexualised media messages via digital technology platforms, social media, gaming, music videos, movies, and more. We cannot expect young people to receive enough information to counteract hypersexualised culture from one or even numerous school presentations. As such, it is important that they have regular opportunities to critique the stories that pornography tells them, and ensure they are provided with alternative and accurate information to assist them to resist pornified messages and develop their own pathways for authentic sexual development. So young people can be fully supported, it is vitally important for teachers, parents and carers to be fully informed. Parents can be directed to Culture Reframed and the  Office of the eSafety Commissioner – relevant links can be found on the Follow-up Support Links Tab.

The following information is designed to equip staff to feel confident to discuss any questions that may arise during and after our visit, so that student learning and critique continues beyond the session(s) provided.

Teacher Preparation Prior to our Presentation

Is free pornography destroying our brains? is a documentary produced in New Zealand by TV3. The 3D investigative journalist, Phil Vine, spoke to porn users and porn addicts, as well a top international scientist and Youth Wellbeing Project Managing Director, Liz Walker, who say online porn can actually alter our brains.

Viewing this video is recommended for all teachers and wellbeing staff involved with students who attend our presentation(s), however it is also applicable for other teachers and support staff throughout the school. The broader the understanding amongst the school community of pornography impacts, the more likely that consistent messages will be provided to students. Another potential outcome of all staff accessing this information, is the possibility of cultivating a whole-school culture shift.

How do we talk about porn with students?
  • Discuss Porn Culture from a critical analysis viewpoint, just as you would a written or visual text.
    • Rather than talking about a specific pornographic film/visual, discuss ‘porn culture’ and the impact it is having on the way young people think and feel. Porn culture includes hypersexualised advertising, ’sex focused’ reality tv, sexualisation on social media and much more.
    • How are these texts ‘positioning’ audiences to think, feel, act?
  • Discuss porn culture as a ‘sexual educator’. What is porn culture teaching us about sex and sexuality? Have the conversation as a class. Where do most people these days learn about sex? What are the advantages/dangers of this?
  • Ask open-ended, non-judgmental questions using third-person language:
    • What could someone do if they saw images or video footage that made them feel uncomfortable?
    • Where could someone find support if…
    • How may someone feel if…

 

  • Talk soon, talk often: A resource for parents that is also helpful and practical for teachers, carers and others in regular contact with children.
  • Culture Reframed: another resource directed for parents that is helpful in understanding the issue.
  • Training by Youth Wellbeing Project:
    • We deliver Teachers and Leaders training to equip you to understand the impacts of pornography on child safety, mental health, sexual behaviours and child development; and empower you to take action by responding proactively and protectively.
    • Online Video Training is also available for individuals and organisations.

Further Discussion

Youth Wellbeing Project is pleased to be able to offer suggested discussion topics to continue conversations after the delivery of Youth Wellbeing Project presentations.

The article Fixers Investigates the trouble with… sex in schools may assist educators to prepare for these discussions.

Discussion Suggestion 1:

Video: Porn and Mental health facts (2.53 minutes)

Discussion Questions

A. Which of these facts did you find most surprising and why?

B. Which of these facts did you already know or assume?

Discussion Suggestion 2:

Video: Sex in Schools (3.34 minutes)

Video: The Porn Factor trailer (1.11 minutes)

Brainstorm: How might we begin to counteract porn culture? What kind of culture do we want to create? As a class, as a school, in our relationships and in our community?

Discussion Suggestion 3:

The Fight the New Drug website has some excellent videos and information for students. View the video explaining the impact of porn on relationships (Pornography Affects the Heart).

Have students explore the page unpackingSexual tastes are molded by an individual’s experiences and their culture…” –Norman Doidge, PhD and answer the following questions:

i. What issues might this shift in behaviours create for young men?

ii. What issues might this shift in behaviours create for young women?

iii. What issues might this shift in behaviours create for same-sex attracted or gender diverse?

Discussion Suggestion 4:

Talking Points

 

  • What were the 5 signs you’re in a toxic relationship Matthew Hussey highlighted?
  • Do you agree/disagree with these? Why/why not?

Discussion Suggestion 5:

Visit Fight the New Drug and explore the section on porn’s impact on broader society.

A. Watch the feature video for this section as a class, and then have students explore the statistics scrolling below the video.

B. What other negative impacts has porn culture had on our broader society? Which of these statistics and findings is most challenging or concerning for you?

Discussion Suggestion 6:

Video: Daughter’s First Time Scene (2.33 minutes)

Discussion Questions:

A. How does this scenario differ from the messages we learn about sex from porn?

B. Do you think your parents are aware of the impacts of porn? How can we improve conversations with them?

Brainstorm: How might we begin to counteract porn culture? What kind of culture do we want to create? As a class, as a school, in our relationships and in our community?

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