We are Sexplain

Vision: improve people's physical health and emotional wellbeing, and give them the critical tools to develop or defend a more equal society.

Mission: comprehensive and inclusive sex and relationships education workshops for young people which confront taboos and social injustices.

It is difficult to explain why any school would allow girls to be subjected to sexual harassment and violent behaviour that has been outlawed in the adult workplace. Despite this, the Department for Education and Ofsted have no coherent plan to ensure schools tackle the causes and consequences of sexual harassment and sexual violence.”
— Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Commons Women and Equalities Committee

The Facts:

sexism and sexual violence has become normalised in all spheres, from hollywood to uk classrooms.

In September 2016 a Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools revealed that:

  • 59% girls and young women aged 13-21 said in 2014 that they had faced some form of sexual harassment at school or college in the past year. 1

  • Almost a third of 16–18-year-old girls say they have experienced unwanted sexual touching at school. 2

  • 41% of UK girls aged 14 to 17 who reported an intimate relationship experienced some form of sexual violence from their partner. 3

  • 22% of young girls aged 7–12 have experienced jokes of a sexual nature from boys. 4

  • Nearly three-quarters of all 16–18-year-olds (boys and girls) say they hear sexual name-calling with terms such as “slut” or “slag” used towards girls at school on a daily basis or a few times a week. 5

  • 28% of 16–18-year olds say they have seen sexual pictures on mobile phones at school a few times a month or more. 6

less surprising perhaps, when we learn that:

  • More than 4 in ten young people had not learnt about how to tell when a relationship is healthy (46%) or abusive (44%). 7

  • Half (50%) of young people had not discussed real-life scenarios about sexual consent. 8

  • A third (34%) had been taught nothing at all about sexual consent. 9

  • Nearly a third of 14-17 year olds say they learnt about sex from porn. 10

We found considerable evidence of an age-old double standard, by which sexually active boys are to be admired and ‘rated’, while sexually active girls are denigrated and despised as ‘sluts’. This creates gender specific risks where girls are unable to openly speak about sexual activities and practices, while boys are at risk of peer exclusion if they do not brag about sexual experiences.
— A qualitative study of children, young people and ‘sexting’: a report prepared for the NSPCC. Ringrose, Gill, Livingstone and Harvey (2012)

sex and relationships education must be inclusive of all young people & address inequalities.

The School Report (Stonewall and Cambridge University, 2017) found that:

  • Nearly half (45 per cent) of lesbian, gay, bi and trans young people are bullied for being LGBT at school.

  • 86 per cent hear the phrases 'that's so gay' or 'you're so gay' in school.

  • 40 per cent of lesbian, gay, bi and trans young people are never taught anything about LGBT issues at school.

We want to change the fact that:

  • 95% young people say they did not learn about LGBT sex and relationships in SRE. 11

  • 97% missed out on any discussion around gender identity in SRE. 12

  • Over half of the young people surveyed by the Sex Education Forum who identified as transgender, lesbian or gay or who reported having a physical disability felt their SRE was 'bad or very bad'. 13

Today’s findings are really alarming and highlight the genuine need for better access to good, sensible, sexual health education for everyone – including contraception and the potentially terrible impact of STIs.
— Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, responding to PHE's Sexual Health Campaign (2017)

public health england has launched a new 'protect against stis' campaign in light of the following findings.

We must empower young people to take ownership of their physical and sexual health, and help them to feel more confident about their bodies and how they work.

  • 58% young people say the main reason for using condoms is to avoid pregnancy, compared with 29% for avoiding infections. 14

  • Around 15% of under 25s reported having unprotected sex with two or more partners in the last year. 15

  • More than one-third of young people think carrying protection is a sign someone is promiscuous. 16

  • Out of 1,000 people surveyed, 34% admitted to not feeling confident talking about sex. 17

specific stis are on the rise, and PARTICULAR DEMOGRAPHICS are DISPROPORTIONATELY at risk OF STIS:

Evie Karkera illustrations
  • In 2017, there was 20% increase in cases of syphilis and a 22% increase in gonorrhoea, compared with 2016. 18

  • The impact of STIs remains greatest in "young heterosexuals 15 to 24 years; people who are BME; and gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men". 19

On a similar note, Sexplain we to change the fact that:

  • Cervical screening coverage has fallen across all age groups in the last 10 years. 20

The Sex Education Forum's latest survey shows that "many young people are left in the dark by gaps in their SRE", including that:

  • Only a quarter (24%) of young people said they learnt about FGM. 21

  • Meanwhile, there are an estimated 137,000 women and girls affected by FGM in England and Wales. 22

Despite clear and compelling evidence for the benefits of high-quality, curriculum-based CSE, few children and young people receive preparation for their lives that empowers them to take control and make informed decisions about their sexuality and relationships freely and responsibly.
— UNESCO International technical guidance on sexuality education, 2018.

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we want to bust taboos & spread body positivity + sex positivity

  • 60% young people surveyed by the Sex Education Forum say they had not learnt about sexual pleasure in SRE. 23

  • Health professionals have reported children as young as 9 seeking a labiaplasty. 24

and tackle period shame:

  • Nearly half (48 per cent) of children who menstruate aged 14-21 in the UK are embarrassed by their periods. 25

  • One in seven (14 per cent) children who menstruate admitted that they did not know what was happening when they started their period. 26

  • And more than a quarter (26 per cent) reporting that they did not know what to do when they started their period. 26