YoungMinds campaign tackles sexual pressures online

Posted on 27 October 2014

YoungMinds campaign calls for better sex and relationships education to give young people a chance to talk about pornography and sexting.

Youth-led campaign for better mental health

In January 2014 YoungMinds launched YoungMinds Vs; a youth led campaign that aims to generate a groundswell of young people fighting for better mental health for all young people. 

To find out which big issues are affecting young people, YoungMinds Vs spoke to over 5,600 young people from across the UK.  The results showed their top worries to be bullying, stress at school, sexual pressures, no work and lack of access to help.  This resulted in YoungMinds Vs focusing on these 5 top issues:

YoungMinds Vs Sexed Up – Don’t believe the hype

One key focus is around tackling sexual pressures online and offline.

Many young people feel that the sex and relationships education they receive in school is not fit for the digital age. 

Sex is everywhere; online, in videos, on our phones and tablets, in games and on TV.  Over half of 11-14 year olds have viewed online pornography, with 4 out of 10 believing it has affected their relationships.  This sexualised culture is making young people feel stressed about when and what they should be doing sexually.  It is making them worry that the images they share might come back on them in the future and it is increasing body confidence issues. 

But this isn’t how young people want it to be.  75% of young people want sex education that gives them the chance to talk about sex and relationships.

As Yasmine shares with us:

What does YoungMinds Vs Sexed Up want?

  • Clearer ways to report online content that is upsetting and disturbing
  • School to ensure that young people receive sex education that:
    ° helps them to understand what a healthy relationship is and about what consent means in sexual relationships
    ° gives young people the chance to talk about pornography and how it influences expectations about sex and attitudes to others
    ° provides young people with a safe space where they can talk about sexual pressures
  • Schools and youth settings to provide guidance on sexting so everyone understands the consequences.
  • Help and advice for parents and carers so they understand how to talk to young people about sex and consent in sensitive ways.
  • Safe online support for children and young people to discuss their concerns.

To join the campaign and demand better sex education, sign the petition now.

Read about the other YoungMinds Vs campaigns

Become a YoungMinds Activist

If you are aged 11 – 25 and are passionate about improving children and young people’s mental health then why not become a YoungMinds Activist!

More information about the campaign training events and how to apply to become a YoungMinds Activist are available on the YoungMinds Website.

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