Report – Let’s Talk About Sex
What is being done to bring taboo topics to kids and young people? Covering sexual, emotional and personal education in engaging and meaningful ways.
- Sex education is an important part of a child’s emotional development and needs to be addressed in a frank but human manner.
- There is no widely agreed age for when it is appropriate to talk to children about sex as this comes down to each child being ready.
- Content creators may face criticism and concern for raising the subject matter but there is proven research showing the benefits of better education.
The session was opened by Changemaker Mercy Ngulube who spoke about her campaign to highlight the lives of children growing up with HIV, after which Sheila de Courcy hosted a panel about the topic of sex education.
Telidja Klai from VRT-KETNET and Juliette van Paridon from NTR have both had experience in creating sex education shows and talked about the issues that they had raised in doing so and some of the criticisms that they had faced. Telidja spoke about the importance of stakeholder buy in when creating content of this manner. Juliette also talked about the responsibilities of a content creator, to not merely be factual and authoritarian, but also to present the topic in a relatable way.
Julia Samuels of 20 Stories High, talked about their project on abortion, in which they presented the human stories of women who’d had an abortion. Julia also spoke of her experience in bringing this show to the BBC’s ‘Performance Live’ strand and some of the unexpected issues involved in transitioning a show of this type from stage to screen.
Writer, YouTuber and presenter Calum McSwiggan, demonstrated his own work in both radio and YouTube and how he aims to bring sex education to a wider audience, not by being a teacher but by being an open and frank voice to talk about the myriad topics of sex and sexuality.
Finally, Chella Quint who is a writer, YouTuber and educator, talked about her shows and their efforts to end the stigma of menstruation, as well as tackling frequently ignored issues such as period poverty. Through her shows she attempts to engage a wide audience by using humor to entertain parents, but also including useful facts to educate children. At the end of the session she led the audience in a very unexpected dance that was designed to teach about the different types of menstrual protection.
Sheila de Courcy
VRT - KETNET
Public Engager, Comedy Writer, Performer, Artist, Designer, Educator
Writer, Digital Content Creator & LGBT+ Advocate
20 Stories High
Juliëtte van Paridon
Editor in Chief, NTR Youth Department
Director/ Writer/ Crossmedia Storyteller
International Aquisitions and Children’s Media Consultant