New sex education kit free to schools

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A unique sex-education resource will be released to schools across Australia next week in response to alarming research that shows more than 40% of teens do not use condoms when they have sex.

Despite sex education currently being taught in the majority of Australian secondary schools, just 59 per cent of teens reported using condoms when they last had sex (according to the La Trobe University National Survey of Secondary Students and Sexual Health 2013). However, 89% of students who had a condom available used it.

In response, La Trobe has collaborated with Ansell Healthcare and EntertainThinkInspire to produce the Ask Grandad DVD and teaching kit, designed to remove the awkwardness and improve successful outcomes from sex education in schools.

The pinnacle of the Ask Grandad teaching kit is a DVD featuring a host of well-known Australian actors, including Neighbours star Ian Smith – who plays grandad.

The short film and vignettes are designed as a teachers’ aid to stimulate class discussion and address issues facing teenagers.

Pamela Blackman, who is a researcher with the La Trobe Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) and a former secondary school teacher, said the resource was trialled in three schools last year and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

“This is such a great way to stimulate discussion about safe sex – not just between teachers and their students but also between parents and their  kids– and that is so important given we know about 50% of young people are sexually active by year 12,” Ms Blackman said.

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“Because so many of us find sex a very personal thing, teachers, students and parents often find discussing condoms awkward.  However, the humour in the Ask Grandad resource alleviates much of the embarrassment.”

The short film was originally created by the team at EntertainThinkInspire and has been adapted for use in schools.

Ask Grandad is designed especially for 21st century learning,” said AB Smith from EntertainThinkInspire.

“It highlights the importance of collaborative partnerships between researchers and creative and it also demonstrates how brands can invest in their communities. We need more partnerships that translate academic research into practical and engaging education initiatives.”

The packs, created by Ansell, contain condoms, teaching resources and information for students to take home to parents, and will be delivered free to all schools who register.

“As an Australian company with over 100 years experience in the manufacture of condoms, Ansell is very proud to play a part in this exciting healthcare initiative,” said Ansell Healthcare spokesman Austin Chesterfield.

“This program is designed to revolutionise the teaching of sexual education in Australian schools, with outcomes that build the confidence of our youth and enable them to make informed choices about sex and relationships.”

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The kits can be ordered from the Ansell sex-ed website.

(Source: La Trobe University)

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Date Created: January 31, 2015 Date Modified: February 12, 2015