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  • What is Outspoken Sex Ed all about?
    OUR MISSION Outspoken gets parents talking openly with their children about sex and relationships. Our interactive website and topical, inspiring live events give parents the language, knowledge, skills and confidence they say they need. We believe that parents talking openly at home not only strengthens the parent-child connection but is also vital to our children’s wellbeing. Open communication is the starting point for us as parents to encourage safeguarding, critical thinking, resilience and self-knowledge in our children – a key way to counter the pressures they are under in a digital world. OUR VISION We aim to create the first go-to resource for parents that focuses on sex and relationships. Ultimately Outspoken Sex Ed wants to change the conversation around sex, love, pleasure and relationships and to work towards a culture that prizes respect, inclusivity and openness
  • Isn’t this all a bit controversial?
    The current climate of protest around relationships and sex education (RSE) is fuelled by outright misunderstandings about its delivery, content and purpose. We understand that parents’ objections often come from a place of not knowing what is taught in school, from defence of religious beliefs, from a fear of children’s emerging sexuality or from misconceptions around stealing children’s innocence. However, sheltering children from the facts about bodies and emotions actually leaves them vulnerable to sexual exploitation, susceptible to negative influences and more likely to seek information from unreliable sources. In these polarised times, parents who acknowledge the many benefits of relationships and sex education are an important counterpoint to the vocal minority who oppose it
  • Why is open communication around sex and relationships needed?
    Crises in young people’s mental health regularly make headlines, with one in eight children now experiencing a mental-health condition. Pressures from the media, social media, the internet and porn are often held accountable for children’s negative body image, low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. Outspoken looks to Denmark (ranked at number 2 in the World Happiness Report 2017) and Holland (number 6) for inspiration on successful approaches to sex and relationships. In Holland the emphasis on healthy relationships and empathy generates positive outcomes for young people in terms of gender equality, LGBT inclusivity, sexual assertiveness and satisfaction, life satisfaction and happiness, with low rates of poor mental health, bullying and teenage STIs, abortions and pregancies. Significantly, Dutch young people also find it easy to talk to their parents, who normalise and are comfortable with discussing sexuality and bodies. Changing the conversation begins at home. Children want parents and school to be their top two sources of information about sex and relationships, according to the Sex Education Forum (Briefing for Parliamentarians, February 2019). But parents are the missing link in their children’s sex and relationships learning. Because many of us didn’t have open communication with our parents or good sex education at school, talking openly with our children doesn’t always come naturally. That's where Outspoken's support and resources come in!
  • What can parents do differently?
    Parents often don’t realise that they need to reach out and talk openly with their children, ideally little and often, starting from right now. Sometimes we are not aware of our children’s lived experiences or how early exposure to sex and relationships issues can happen. So we need to kickstart conversation with our children about facts and feelings around… Bodies & body image Sex & relationships Pleasure & consent Porn & sexting Sexuality & identity Gender stereotypes As with other areas of parenting, our children will mirror our confidence and everyday engagement with sex and relationships issues. Dive into Outspoken's tips by topics to find out how!
  • What can parents get out of Outspoken Sex Ed?
    “Teaching kids about respect is the key thing. Respect for themselves, their own body; respect for others; respect for consent. Parents need information to be able to do that” – mother in focus group (Yoan Reed 2017) It is important for parents to feel confident in talking openly with their children about sex and relationships. Open communication improves… SAFEGUARDING Building up children’s resilience and decision-making so they become critical thinkers MENTAL HEALTH Supporting children in learning to balance physical changes and emotional issues and in becoming who they want to be PARENT-CHILD CONNECTION Creating an ongoing, everyday openness by being willing to tackle challenging subjects Both the Outspoken website and its live events give parents the language, skills, knowledge and confidence to talk matter-of-factly about sex, love and relationships. They also inspire parents to reflect on their own formative sex and relationships experiences, clarify their current attitudes and consider their approach – and their hopes for their children – going forward
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