Whether concerned parents or the Catholic Church in Ireland like it or not, the young people of Ireland are going to ride each other. You can avoid talking to kids about it, but it really doesn’t do anyone good.
Sex Ed in Ireland is completely out of touch. On one side kids and teens are taught next to nothing in schools about sex, the catholic church still as pervasive as ever in Irish schools. We’re given the bare minimum in education – “penis goes womb, baby comes” out as James put it. Devoid of talking about anything other than the scientific side of things, the Irish are ultimately left stunted when it comes to the having safe sex. On top of that sexual identity is rarely ever addressed, but that’s a discussion for another day.
On the other side of the coin there’s no escaping sex in the media. We’re constantly being told that we should be having sex by reality TV, ads, and the internet. A lot of young people see porn as educational. Getting the ride on the reg is coveted by all, and with Tinder and Grindr it’s easier than ever.
So where does that leave us? We want to have a load of sex, but are uneducated and uninformed. It’s really no surprise that there’s a HUGE rise in STIs in Ireland over the past decade. Some stats to scare the shite out of you: the number of reported cases of Gonorrhea increased fourfold and syphilis and chlamydia doubled in the past decade (2004-2013). In 2016 they continued to increase. This is fucking nuts considering 60% of Irish people said they’d never been screened for an STI.
One person doing the job of the government is James Kavanagh. He has tens of thousands of followers on social media and has been using his position to educate people on sex. We had a chat with him about it.
When asked about where the idea came from James told us it stemmed from an article he read on providing classes on life skills in school.
“On the school curriculum there’s a lot of useless stuff. People need to be taught skills that will actually be of use to them later on in life”
“Sex Ed was shite when I was in school. We were taught the very basics, all very scientific. Penis goes in the womb, baby comes out. I thought that it must have been improved from when I was in school, but 99% of the responses said it’s still crap.”
The HUGE amount of responses James received were mixed. They ranged from questions about safe sex to teachers getting in touch about their classes.
“A lot of people didn’t even know you can get STIs from giving head, which is completely mad. I had a few people snapping saying I was lying”. Outrageous, we know…
“I had teachers get in touch with me too. Some said that they wanted to teach a more comprehensive class on it but that their hands were tied by the school board. A few teachers said that they had given their students great classes.” On top of this Childline centres started receiving hundreds of calls from concerned teens who taught they might have STIs.
The way Sex Ed in Ireland is taught really needs to change. Instead of promoting abstinence, young people need to be taught how to have sex in a safe way. “It’s absolutely bonkers that in some schools you have a nun come in, who’s never got the ride in her life, to teach about sex.”
“There’s a total lack of organisation on how it’s taught.” James used the recent outbreak of gonorrhoea in University of Limerick to highlight this.
“Basically, a load of first years came in and were having unprotected sex… because they weren’t taught how to have safe sex… It led to a massive out break of gonorrhoea on campus”.
“The Minister for Education is putting the health of Irish young people in danger by not having a universal curriculum for Sex Ed in schools.”
James has linked up with letsgetchecked.com who provide discreet and easy to use checks for STIs.
James ultimately wants everyone to know about safe sex. “It’s all about having sex in a healthy way. It doesn’t matter who you are or who you’re riding you should know how to have safe sex”.
If you haven’t been checked in a while or ever, please go out and get it done. It’s a bit awkward but it’ll save you a nasty rash down the line!
Follow James on Snapchat: @Jamesksnaps
For more info on Sexual health go to: letsgetchecked.com
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