My tutor group had their sexual health visitors this week. I was with the boys, which is always interesting as it’s usually a combination of students having genuine questions which they are brave enough to ask and icky pictures of STDs. When Harry said he’s “proper scared of volcanoes growing out his willy,” even the experts had to laugh. The session illustrated how these young adults look like and occasionally act like grown-ups, but actually they are children who don’t have a clue about actual sexual contact or actual sexual relationships.
A recent German study, suggested that boys and girls are more maturing at a faster rate than before. This is a great concern to young boys as they now produce large amounts of their hormone testosterone. The concern is that these younger minds are suddenly competitive, aggressive and with a greater sexual drive. You put all of these together in an emotionally immature male and it can cause very difficult situations in and outside school.
Teenage pregnancy is often highlighted as a salient issue in British society, but less is mentioned about inappropriate sexual contact. I saw boy X run up to girl Y and spank her bottom hard and then ran off. I was furious and let him know exactly what he had done. “Who do you look up to? Do you think your role models act like this?” I was fortunate he was not a Kobe Bryant or Chris Brown fan. I then informed his parents, meanwhile the girl giggled. Did she genuinely think the act was funny? I’m not sure.
Lessons on sexual health are great, but the emphasis should be on empowering our girls to say “No!” and for boys to discuss appropriate behaviour. For parents and teachers to try and compete with images on the internet and in contemporary youth culture, it is difficult. If anyone knows how to suppress hormones please write in.