Why RSE Matters

Why RSE Matters

Hey, Qraters!

How many of us learned more about sex from Cosmo than from school? And what would our lives look like if we had comprehensive, reliable, evidence-based sex education?

The reality is that there are very few places for young people to turn to for judgement-free sex education that is rooted in research and fact. Instead, schools and even the Department of Education’s (DOE) guidelines on sex education focus on abstinence, rather than an empowered, well-informed and inclusive learning outcome in which students can grow healthy self-esteem, advocate for themselves, and grow to nurture healthy relationships with themselves and others. 

Kelly Sikkema: Unsplash 

High-quality, clear and comprehensive Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) support young people’s physical and mental well-being as they move toward adulthood. South Africa experiences extraordinary levels of sexual violence, young and unintended pregnancies, and HIV, and was recently listed as the #1 in the world for sexually transmitted infections. Evidence suggests that quality sex education plays a vital role in delaying early sex, preventing transmission of HIV and other STIs, reducing unintended pregnancy, and providing young people with tools to have conversations around consent. It can also support confident disclosure about sexual abuse or exploitation, which is rife in our country.

Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition: Unsplash

Another significant impact of RSE involves a greater understanding of students who may exist outside of the gender binary, or who may feel isolated as they discover their sexuality and have no one to discuss it with. RSE can facilitate inclusive conversations around acceptance and diversity, building a better world for everyone.

It’s also noted that an inclusive approach to RSE can increase body confidence and positivity, strongly combating many of the toxic ideas about body image that are perpetuated in digital spaces. It provides a safe space to ask questions about the many urban myths that exist about sex. Most of all, comprehensive RSE gives us the answer to the question we all ask at some point: am I normal? (The answer is usually yes, yes you are.)

Many parents and schools fear that talking about sex encourages early sexual exploration, but there’s no evidence to support this. Instead, keeping sex a secret and discouraging the conversation forces young people into unsafe spaces online, exposes them to pornography without any critical literacy, and allows misinformation to spread among peers. A survey in the UK found that a third of young people report learning more about sex from pornography than from formal education. This can lead to risky sexual behaviour and unrealistic attitudes towards sex.

Li Weibin: Unsplash

Parents and schools lack the support needed to facilitate these conversations – many of whom were never exposed to evidence-based RSE. Studies show that learners who receive effective relationship and sex education are more likely to disclose sexual abuse, delay sexual debuts, are more likely to have a consensual sexual debut and are more likely to use contraception and condoms, and less likely to have unplanned pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections.

Qrate is dedicated to providing impactful RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) workshops that empower young individuals with comprehensive and evidence-based knowledge on various aspects, including safer sex practices, consent, fostering healthy relationships, and understanding bodily autonomy. Our mission is to cultivate a generation of informed young people who make conscious and responsible choices regarding their sexual well-being throughout their lives. Our workshops are guided by the principles endorsed by the World Health Organization and are facilitated by certified educators committed to creating a safe and supportive learning environment. To discover more about our RSE offerings, we invite you to inquire today and embark on a journey towards knowledge, empowerment, and confident decision-making.