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Youth won't go bananas for sex ed

Phoebe Lines and Karim Kaufman are YOUthSpeak panelists
Phoebe Lines and Karim Kaufman are YOUthSpeak panelists

DON'T expect to see outdated demonstrations of condoms being rolled onto bananas at YOUthSpeak sexual education forums.

The sessions will be held monthly at the Youth Activity Centre in Byron Bay and were created "by young people, for young people".

They aim to give youths a comfortable atmosphere to discuss sensitive issues such as sex and relationships.

"There's considerable research that shows kids are not getting adequate sexual education at school and there's not many other places they are taught about it," YOUthSpeak organiser Allison Rahn said.

"The forums are run by young people because other young people feel more comfortable opening up to those their own age."

She said inadequate sexual education left young people particularly susceptible to "peer pressure and coercion".

"A lot of young people think they ought to be behaving in a particular way or how their friends do," she said.

"They don't have anyone to tell them it's OK to be different and that's a message young people really need to hear."

Phoebe Lines, 22, was one of five young people trained to facilitate YOUthSpeak forums.

"I had lots of questions which weren't answered when I was younger and I looked for the answers in magazines like Dolly, which isn't right," she said.

"The group of people who are facilitating the workshops will really be honest and speak from their hearts which will open the space up for other people."

The first forum will be held at the Youth Activity Centre in Byron Bay on Saturday, 2-5pm.

For more information, email youthspeakbyron@gmail.com.

Topics:  sex ed


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