We were invited to talk about the sixteen18 project findings on Woman’s Hour on 16th September. Cicely discusses anal and oral sex, consent and mutuality with Jane Garvey and Justin Hancock from Bish. It seems the link to the podcast we posted on the day no longer works, but you can also find it here for a couple more weeks (scroll to 16 September programme). Or you can also stream it from here if the podcast has expired.
We were invited to talk about the sixteen18 project findings on today’s Woman’s Hour. Cicely discusses the findings with Jane Garvey and Justin Hancock from Bish. If you want to hear the programme, you can download the podcast. We’re the last item on the programme, 31 minutes in.
Here’s the blurb from the Woman’s Hour website:
Talking About & Consenting To Sex Acts
A new study on teenage heterosexual couples and sex has revealed there can be a “climate of coercion” when it comes to ‘sex acts’ like anal sex, and that consent and mutual pleasure isn’t always a priority. The study of 16-18 year olds was carried out by the London School of Hygiene, who say that some young men and women have anal sex, and while it is commonly depicted in pornography, it’s usually absent from sex education, and “seems unmentionable in many social contexts.” So is there a need for young people to talk more openly about pleasure and consent when it comes to sex acts? And does this need to be directly addressed in sex education? To discuss, Jane is joined by one of the authors of the report, Dr Cicely Marston of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and by sex educator Justin Hancock of BISH Training.
You may have seen something about this in the media already, but we wrote this academic paper published in BMJ Open, and also this short summary article about it for The Conversation which was also published in the Washington Post. Tell us what you think about it in the comments. You can also contact Cicely via twitter (@cicely), or contact us privately via email (under ‘researchers’ in the right hand sidebar).
We wanted to know what sorts of sexual activities 16-18 year olds thought were common among people their age. Our interviewees generally expected to experience practices such as vaginal fingering and oral sex before ‘losing their virginity’. These non-coital practices were seen as part of learning how to have sex, how to experience pleasure with someone else, and developing trust and comfort within a relationship. They were also seen as a way to help prepare women’s bodies for penis-vagina penetration.
You can read more about what young people said here: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/18/1/1.html
We’ve been quiet for a while because we’ve been looking at the first set of interviews. There’s lots of really useful information and interesting stories, so thanks again if you took part. We’re now doing the second interviews with people who did the one-on-one interviews last year.
If you saw or heard this story on the news in the last couple of days, you might be interested in this article which points out why the stories have been misleading.
We’ve finished our first round of interviews and group discussions so thanks to all of you for taking part. We’re looking forward to seeing some of you again for your second interviews this winter.
We’ve been speaking to young people across England, and one thing we’ve found is that not everyone agrees on what counts as ‘having sex‘. If you’ve ever wondered what different people mean when they say they’ve ‘had sex’, you might be interested in this article from the Scarleteen website.
Welcome to the sixteen18 project. For more about the project, please click on the links on the right hand side.
The study has only just started and at the moment we are looking for young people aged 16-17 to take part. If you would like to take part, or know someone who would, please email us:
[encode_email email="email@example.com" display="firstname.lastname@example.org"]
We will post news about the progress of the project as it goes on, and post summaries of our research findings when they are ready.