Relationships and Sex Education

A career's work

Over 35 years practising as a paediatrician and among my social contacts I have seen first-hand how badly we prepare young people for success in their young and adult relationships. In 1982 I was asked by our local children’s committee to attempt to change this within the school based Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) curriculum where SRE remains non-statutory. Some biological and HIV related components are statutory in science. I am proud to say that over the last 20 years our committed and professional team have found and steadily refined a solution that helps young people to develop their relationships in healthier ways.

Added Power And Understanding in Sex Education (Apause) is founded in social cognitive theory which is probably the most widely researched, documented and accepted theory of behaviour acquisition and change. Uniquely to Apause, students agree on, and learn healthy behaviours from each other. These social learning processes are achieved both in adult led and peer led sessions. [See our PALS, ApauseToo  and peer programme pages.]  As a result students correct commonly held myths, adopt healthier normative expectations [see norms theory], learn assertiveness skills [Vimeo link], and are likely to have healthier behaviours in delaying first intercourse and using contraception when sexually active. [See NFER for external evaluation confirming the above] . These young people have adopted strategies to resist pressure for unwanted intimacy and are empowered to use condoms and to access sexual health services. 

Dr John H Tripp