Report shows growing need for relationship education in early primary and the early years
This week Zero Tolerance releases its Healthy Relationships in Early Primary education survey findings. The survey asked parents, teachers and support staff their thoughts on the landscape of healthy relationships education in early primary in Scotland (aged 5-8). They were also asked whether they felt the education that children did receive had introduced an awareness of important issues such as challenging gender stereotypes and understanding consent.
The findings come at a time of increased awareness around the needs of young people growing up in a world that is fraught with a variety of conflicting messages around relationships. These can have long lasting effects, including sexual problems. Previously thought to be confined to older generations, a recent survey showed that young women are more likely to be affected by this, with 44.4% of sexually active young women experiencing at least one problem with their ability to enjoy sex in the past year, compared with 33.8% of young men.
Of particular concern, is a lack of understanding around gender stereotypes and their relationship to violence against women. Young women still experience gender inequality in schools as well as growing pressure in their personal relationships from a pornified culture. The evidence of increasing coercion in teen relationships shows the undeniable need for strategic leadership to foster healthy attitudes at the earliest possible opportunity.
Amy Marshall from Zero Tolerance said
‘We believe it is never too early to question what is seen as ‘normal’ or what is traditionally expected of boys and girls in our society. In fact, doing so from a very young age helps to protect children from the negative consequences of inequality and discrimination as they grow into adults.
Now presents an excellent opportunity for the Scottish Government and Education Scotland to consider how to close the gender gap in education; the one which prevents young people from achieving their full potential and which can lead to discrimination and inequality in later years. Our report shows that there is so much more to be done, and that our participants want to see leadership in this policy area.
Action taken now, in the early years, will actively contribute to the prevention of violence by beginning to dismantle some of the ingrained gender stereotypes that facilitate violence against women.
Gender based bullying limits on free expression ,and sexism is no context in which young girls and boys can achieve’.
Notes for the editor
|Healthy relationships in early primary settings.pdf|
Added: August 25, 2016