Alcohol and sexual health in young people: the role of PSHE

Last month I had some research published that I wrote titled ‘Alcohol and sexual health in young people: the role of PSHE’ as part of a course entitled ‘Issues in Contraceptive and Reproductive Sexual Health’ that I studied at university.Β  This course was part of my ongoing professional development related to my job role.

Seeing as I was seven month’s sober when I started the course unsurprisingly my curiousity was drawn to the issue of how alcohol affects sexual health in young people.Β  In particular it was piqued by a doubling back on some evidence based research that was commissioned for the Govt by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) looking at the subject in relation to personal, social and health and economic education (PSHE) in schools.Β  Dog with a bone or what? πŸ˜€

It was published in the Community Practitioner, a specialist journal for community nursing staff such as District Nurses, Health Visitors and School Nurses.Β  Without further ado here is the pdf so you can read it in its entirety and see my name with all it’s letters after it πŸ˜‰

p34-36 Professional_Rowlinson

For those of you who like a summary only here were my key points:

β€’ It is important that the NICE PSHE guidelines are updated and implemented
β€’ The NICE guidelines have the potential to improve sexually transmitted infection and teenage pregnancy rates, which remain a high priority for government, and address the issue of alcohol, which is an increasing priority in young people
β€’ Implementation of a more holistic approach to PSHE is needed through teaching sexual health and alcohol education together
β€’ Young people want to understand the influence of alcohol on sexual behaviours and where to get confidential support to manage their emotions if they make a bad decision as a result of drinking

I’m interested to hear your thoughts? πŸ™‚

10 thoughts on “Alcohol and sexual health in young people: the role of PSHE

  1. It is a small issue in The Netherlands as we have the lowest teen pregnancy in the world due to sex-eduction at an early age. Those that do get pregnant are either from the former colonies and do so, as they say, to get dole or try to force their guy to marry them. The others are ‘accidents’ but not very likely booze fueled. I am guessing STD’s are low here too.

    Those that do get pregnant accidentely are those that are not allowed to have sex like girls with a strong religious background. And… hurray for some religious interpretations (not!); the parents of those groups are exactly those that try to prohibit sex education at schools….. On top of that: 20% of the girls from these backgrounds go into marriage still ‘a virgin’, while having had an anal quicky in the back of a car. Now wouldn’t you like thΓ‘t to be your first sex experience? Brrrrrr……

    I am voting for education, education and education and equality amongst sexes. Inequality like non mixed swimming and what have only entices teenagers and sets off their hormones when they do see the other sexe. Maybe roll play for girls to learn to say no too.

    Ooh, by the way: Not sure how it is now but the Netherlands used to have the highest number of girls and women on the pill AND the highest number of women with breastcancer. So I am guessing that is the downside…. :-/

    In my drunken sex years I was not on the pill, just to make sure we would always use a condom. Tip: don’t continue to have sex with guys that are uncomfortable with condoms. That will go wrong one day, specifically if you both drink. And SPECIFICALLY NOT have unprotected sex with guys that don’t like condoms because the were having that same unprotected sex the week before with somebody else… And why have sex with guys that are so not in touch with themselves that they have difficulty with condoms anyhow?

    1. Thanks feeling for sharing the view from The Netherlands! The North European countries seem to be much more progressive and proactive the further North you go – particularly Sweden. When you say sex education is taught at an early age – what age is it? In this country we start basic sex ed in later years of primary school education, Yr 5 & 6 – so with 10 & 11 year olds. Is it younger than that in Holland? I agree with education as the way forward but combined sex and alcohol awareness education as in this country your first sexual experience usually involves booze (or in my experience anyway!)

      1. Yeah, nasty combination sex and booze. Come to think of it I actually had a relation for 2,5 years that was 100% sex & booze free. Not sex free, but the combi.
        Since 2012 sexual education is obliged at primary school age 4 to 12. I would imagine they don’t get down to the details at age 4 though. My generation had sex education at 12-13 years old. But my mom was well, trying to be liberated, so we had the story at age 5 and more details later in life. I remember being late for kindergarten after lunch because the story was not finished yet. Next day I told my brother that I did not like his seeds anyhow. πŸ˜€

      2. Not sure where else you are sharing your findings but 14 January 2015 is STiQ day a health awareness day dedicated to sexual health so you might be able to share your views further on their website or make the most of it being topical this week using your own hashtags on social media perhaps?

      3. Hi Maria Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog! I wasn’t aware of this day so thank you for letting me know and I’ll have a think and see how I can support this day further πŸ™‚

  2. Wow! Great work, Lou πŸ˜€ I think the most compelling point is the final one: young people WANT to understand the influence on sexual behaviors….they want guidance and support. The peer pressure on our young people must be so overwhelming, and the young ages they begin drinking! 11-13 years?! I believe early education regarding these issues is critical! xx

    1. Thanks Lori πŸ™‚ That they do and yes from the young people who come to talk to me professionally it is a minefield these days because of social media predominantly! xx

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