Bridge

This Newsletter aims to promote communication between schools and the Student Health Service of the Department of Health

December 2014 Issue No.65

Published by the Student Health Service, Department of Health


Editorial

Adolescents are the future masters of the society and the community has placed great emphasis on their education. Sex education is an integral part of holistic education, families, schools and the government have the responsibility in fostering adolescents' positive values and attitudes towards sex in this rapid changing society.

The Adolescent Health Programme of the Student Health Service has developed a series of "Sex Education Workshop" to instil knowledge as well as the correct values on sex among secondary school students. This newsletter will briefly introduce the content of our "Sex Education Workshop" and share the comments from teachers and students who have attended the workshop.



Health Topic: Sex Education Workshop

Adolescent Health Programme, Student Health Service

Introduction

Our "Sex Education Workshop" is not just limited to physiological knowledge on sex, but also covers the psychological and social aspects. The knowledge on physiological aspect includes the reproductive system, growth changes and sexually transmitted diseases, psychological aspect includes the development of personal values, decision making, understanding the relationship between love and sex; social aspect includes interpersonal communication and sexual morality, etc. The aims of our sex education are to help adolescents to:

(a) acquire the correct knowledge on sex, so that they can recognize and learn to deal with the distress and anxiety due to physical and psychological changes during puberty, so as to build up self-confidence and self-acceptance;
(b) learn to respect and care for themselves and others;
(c) develop healthy attitudes toward sex and be responsible to their sexual behaviour to avoid risky behaviours that would hurt themselves and others, and to reduce some of the social problems caused by "sex";
(d) develop analytical ability and exercise proper value judgement.

Curriculum development of Sex Education Workshop

The Student Health Service of the Department of Health launched the Adolescent Health Programme in 2001. Apart from Basic Life Skills Training, there are different series of Topical Programmes, "Sex Education Workshop" is one of the most popular series among the Topical Programmes. The programmes are revised periodically to cater for the changing social circumstances and needs in different schools. We added one more chapter to the sex education workshop lately, the original seven chapters are expanded to eight.

The eight chapters are "Changes during adolescence", "Friendship and Love (1)", "Friendship and Love (2)", "Sex and Love", "Rather have none than have too much", "Contraception", "Sexual Harassment" and "Pornography".

With the rapid development of multimedia, most of the chapters are added with video clips to make the content more appealing. The following is a brief introduction of the eight chapters of our "Sex Education Workshop":

The Contents of Sex Education Workshop

Sex Education Workshop 1: Changes during adolescence

This chapter is suitable for junior secondary school students. Most of the students have recognized the changes of puberty in their primary school years, so this section focuses on its adaptation. Through quizzes, our facilitators will test students' knowledge on the physical changes of puberty. Facilitators will clarify their misconceptions, so the students can have a better understanding of the changes during adolescence. This is followed by showing a video clip and group discussion, students may learn how to adapt and deal with the changes during adolescence.

Sex Education Workshop 2: Friendship and Love

Adolescents are curious about the opposite sex. Learning to distinguish "friendship" and "love" can help them establish correct and healthy gender relationship. The contents of the programmes "Friendship and love (1) and (2)" are roughly similar, but there would be more in-depth discussion of dating problems in Friendship and love (2).

Friendship and Love (1)

This chapter is suitable for junior secondary school students. There are three different activities for students to understand the difference between friendship and love, the proper attitude and skills to get along with the opposite sex, and the factors that should be considered before they start a love relationship.

Friendship and Love (2)

The three activities in this chapter are designed to simulate the path of a love relationship. The first activity let students understand the similarities and differences between friendship and love. The second activity let the students realise the possible problems arising from confusion between friendship and love as well as their management. Finally, through a tongue twister contest, students can recognise problems arising from hasty engagement in courtship, the price and possible consequences of dating that one should consider before deciding to date.

There is no standard age limit for dating. The two chapters emphasize the need to consider carefully before you begin dating. A love relationship is not just two persons getting close to each other, but also requires the skills of emotion management and problem solving, self-discipline to maintain all aspects of personal development, so that both parties can grow up healthily in the relationship. Whether or not a person is suitable to develop a love relationship depends on his/ her readiness and the ability to manage problems.

Sex Education Workshop 3: Sex and Love

The purposes of this chapter are to allow students to recognize the relationship between sex and love, and the ways to handle sexual impulses. Facilitators would first discuss the meaning of sex and love, and their relationships with the whole class. Then through a story, students can recognise sexual impulse, the management of sexual impulse and the consequences of having sex. Many youngsters may face a dilemma when their partner request for sex. If they refuse the request, they fear this would embarrass the partner or affect their future relations; however, they feel reluctant to accept the request. Through role-playing in the final activity, students can learn different ways to refuse sex. If time allows, our facilitators would play a video clip to show students how to refuse sex in different situations.

Sex Education Workshop 4: Rather have none than have too much

The aims of this chapter are to enable students to recognize the consequences of casual sex and the importance of safe sex. Facilitators will play a game with students to let them understand the seriousness of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), followed by a story illustrating the consequences of casual sex. One of the consequences of casual sex is having STDs. Our facilitators would explain to students the symptoms and consequences of three to five common STDs, and show a set of clinical photos of STDs to students. Another consequence is pregnancy. Facilitators will discuss with students the problems arising from teenage pregnancy and the importance of thorough consideration before having sex. If time allows, a video clip would be shown to illustrate the consequences of teenage pregnancy.

Sex Education Workshop 5: Contraception

Before joining this chapter, students are required to attend either "Sex Education Workshop 3" or "Sex Education Workshop 4" to have a clear understanding about the difference between sex and love, the ways to handle sexual impulses, and the serious consequences of casual sex. The aims of this programme are to provide knowledge on different methods of contraception and their limitations, and let students understand that condoms not only help to reduce the chance of pregnancy, but also reduce the risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. It can be used to protect our health and for family planning purpose in the future. Facilitators would clearly explain and demonstrate the correct way of using a male condom, and then let the students practise how to apply a male condom on a condom training model, so that they can learn the skills properly.

Sex Education Workshop 6: Sexual Harassment

The objectives of this chapter are to provide students with knowledge on sexual harassment and its management. Facilitators would first discuss with students openly to clarify the misconceptions about sexual harassment. Next, with the help of a video clip, students can recognise the definition, causes and impacts of sexual harassment. Finally, through discussion of different scenarios, students can learn the ways to handle sexual harassment, how to protect themselves from being sexually harassed and also learn to establish good gender relationship.

Sex Education Workshop 7: Pornography

Many media organisations of Hong Kong has seized every opportunity to disseminate pornographic contents to audience that may poison adolescents' mind. The views about sex advocated by the media may be greatly distorted. These faulty views about sex would have a profound impact on adolescents. In addition, the indecent photos and videos events of celebrities in the society aroused a lot of discussion. "Pornography" has become a hot topic.

In the beginning of this chapter, our facilitator would have an open discussion with students to let them realise the meaning of pornography and the flooding of pornographic information. Then by group discussions, students can understand the faulty views about sex advocated by the media and recognise the impact of faulty views about sex on adolescents. Finally, through discussion of different scenarios, students can learn the ways to reject faulty views about sex, respect others and adopt appropriate attitude towards sex.


The eight chapters of Sex Education Workshop provide students with knowledge, values, attitudes and skills on sex. According to the statistics of our service, Sex Education Workshop 3, 4 and 5 are the most popular programmes.

Challenges

It is difficult to catch up with the rapid changing society and advances in technology. We face a lot of difficulties and challenges during production and revision of the "Sex Education Workshop", for instance, the changes in moral values of the society and the rapid development of multimedia learning etc.

We have encountered many obstacles during promotion of the "Sex Education Workshop". As most of the schools have very packed academic curriculum nowadays, the school time for teaching sex education is relatively little. Some schools may use different reasons to refuse the more sensitive topics such as contraception and usage of condom etc. Some parents may worry that sex education would affect their children. All these would form resistance to our sex education.

According to different studies, correct and comprehensive sex education including discussion of condom and other contraceptive methods would not encourage sex activity. On the contrary, it would delay initiation of sex, reduce the chance of casual sex and unsafe sex among important groups of youth. Parents and teachers do not have to worry that proper sex education that would have a negative impact on adolescents.

Conclusion

The younger generation in Hong Kong has adopted a more open attitude towards sex than before and it is easy to get pornographic contents from the media nowadays. In order to avoid the adverse effects of these pornographic materials on young people, they should have sufficient knowledge and adopt a proper attitude toward sex. Members of Adolescent Health Programme will strive and join hands with parents & schools to shoulder the responsibility of instilling correct sex education to adolescents, so as to help these future masters of the society to deal with issues related to "sex".

References

1. Education Bureau, HKSAR. Available at http://www.edb.gov.hk/tc/index.html (accessed Oct 2014)
2. The Family Planning Association. Available at http://www.famplan.org.hk/sexedu/en/aboutus/aboutus.asp (accessed Oct 2014)
3. Baldo M, Aggleton P, Slutkin G. Does Sex Education Lead to Earlier or Increased Sexual Activity in Youth? Geneva: World Health Organization, 1993.
4. UNAIDS. Sexuality Education Leads to Safer Sexual Behavior. New York: UNAIDS, 1997.
5. Douglas B. Kirby. The Impact of Abstinence and Comprehensive Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs on Adolescent Sexual Behavior. Sexuality Research &Social Policy, Vol. 5, No. 3 September 2008.

Bridge Blog

My views on Sex Education Workshop

Students' view on the workshop:
Helped me understand being over-attentive to an opposite sex may cause misunderstanding.
"Tongue twister" was a fun way to help us recognise the disadvantages of dating.
Helped me learn more ways to handle sexual impulses.
Clearly explained the difference between sex and love, and learned different ways refrain from having sex.
Impressed by the role play games.
Interesting, using multimedia as teaching aid in the programme.
The facilitator explained 'sex and love' clearly.
The warm-up game could deliver a clear message, easy to understand.
Taught the correct concept of sex.
Helped me know the consequences of casual sex, and the STD photo could act as a deterrent to casual sex.

Teachers' view on the workshop:
I believe the students can gain much, thank you!
Facilitators explain clearly, students can grasp the messages easily.
Students are more interested in real cases and examples. Some students found the clinical photos rather shocking, but some were more receptive.
There is deterrent effect from "introduction of sexually transmitted disease".
Appreciate the sharing of some clinical cases.
The nurses cited some hospital cases to help students to be vigilant. Good!
Allow students to participate in condoms usage demonstration can deepen students' memories.
Students were responsive and willing to participate. Facilitators are experienced and communicative. A valuable and meaningful experience for secondary students.
Very interactive ! The section about compensated dating is very good.

Junior Health Pioneer

Junior Health Pioneer saw Wai-wai sat in front of the computer with an embarrassed look. He asked Wai-wai.

Junior Health Pioneer: Wai-wai, what information are you looking for from this website?
 
Wai-wai: I want to know how to communicate with girls.
 
Junior Health Pioneer: Right, there are abundant knowledge from the website. But not all of them are correct.
 
Wai-wai: So, how do I find the correct information?
 
Junior Health Pioneer: Teacher told me that some nurses from the Adolescent Health Programme Office, Department of Health will conduct a workshop on sex education next week. We can obtain the correct information if we pay attention at the workshop.
 

For enquiries of student's health problem, please send e-mail to"Health Box".

Email Address: shsbridge@dh.gov.hk

Editorial Board Members: Dr. HO Chun-luen, David, Ms. CHAN Shuk-yi, Karindi, Ms. CHOI Choi-fung, Ms. WONG Kwai-kwan, Betty, Ms. CHAN Hoi-yan

Tel : 2349 4212 / 3163 4600
Fax : 2348 3968

 
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Last Revision Date : 9 December 2014