Six workshops were conducted on the third day of the ACSE4 Conference, conducted by experienced sex educators and social workers from Taiwan, New Zealand and Hong Kong. The topics were diverse, including compensated dating, peer education, young people and media, sexual orientation, handling skills of unplanned pregnancy, two-sex education, etc. Apart from the participants of the conference, attendants also included sex educators from local organizations and schools. All together they grasped the skills of implementing sexuality education, and shared issues regarding the development of sexuality education in different regions. A lot of participants found the workshops helpful. Through discussion, they gained insights of the problems and difficulties other regions were facing, through learning the past experiences of others they could then enrich their future programmes and thus also helped increase their confidence in implementing the programmes.
Some main points of the workshops were complied as follows:
“When teachers and social workers encounter homosexual students”
Mr Chau Chun-yam - Project Officer, Project Touch, The Boys' & Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong
Though sharing the true stories of young homosexuals, it was hoped that we sex educators could reflect if the confusion of growing up brought by homosexual labeling was actually the careless mistake made by us? Regardless of one’s sexual orientation, everyone would encounter uncertainty and exploration during one’s growth. When teacher or social worker encounter homosexual youth, could we put down the doubt or curiosity and listen to their experience of growth which is filled with right and wrong?
‘Exploration of youth lured into compensated dating in Hong Kong and sexuality education as intervention’
Mr Chiu Tak-choi - Division Head, Yang Memorial Methodist Social Service, Youth Service Division (Yau Tsim Mong District)
Talking about compensated dating, some people may attribute the cause to the openness towards sex and vanity of those who engage in compensated dating. As a sex educator, one should consider from the angle of young people and understand the thinking behind. In that way, intervention could be done in accordance to the needs of youth, such as communicating with young people in a caring attitude, analyzing the dangers sensibly, so as to help them develop healthy sexual values.
In the workshop, through sharing local cases and examples from the Internet and media, Mr. Chiu indicated the complicated psychological needs of people engaging in compensated dating, and the reasons behind the behavior, such as easy to earn money, desire to leave the restriction of family, gain the recognition from friends, search for the lack of family care and love, etc. Besides, parents should be more aware of own behaviors and words which might encourage compensated dating indirectly, like praising the actress who was experiencing premarital pregnancy with a rich businessman, scalping stock and properties but not caring the children.
‘How gender equity education is implemented at schools – Experience in Taiwan’
Prof Su Chien-ling - Associate Professor, General Education Center, Ming Chuan University
The content about gender equity education is very extensive, affecting the growth of young people deeply. To the public, the view on gender equity education is still limited to the basic goal of ‘avoiding sexual discrimination’, yet we could actively enlarge the concept to cover the idea of encouraging equality and diversity. In the school context, we care about the prevention and education of sexual harassment and sexual abuse, for instance, how to coordinate the learning environment with the resources? How to arrange the lessons, learning materials and method? How to apply for surveys and subsidy, and how about the related penalty? All these need clear guidelines. In Taiwan, many difficulties were encountered when carrying out related education, yet revolution is still undergoing. We can learn a lot from the workshop as it mentioned especially about how to link up gender equity education with homosexual education, sexuality education, handling pregnant students and student uniforms.
‘Teenage Unplanned Pregnancy: Crisis Intervention’
Mr Ko Wai-tun, Presley - Counsellor, The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong
As soon as young people discover that they or their partners are pregnant, they would encounter the crisis of mental instability. Crisis intervention uses this critical moment to transform ‘crisis’ to ‘chance’. Mr Ko first introduced the theory and principle of application, then explained the six basic steps in detail, including how to define the problem, ensure the security of the case, provide support and acceptance, look for possible solutions, draft the plan, and develop contract and commitment. In the workshop, simulated examples were given to explain thoroughly about the ways of implementing each step, so that participants could have the firsthand experience of counseling process, discussed and expressed their opinions about the unclear points inside.
Participants from different regions of Asia were very interested in the support service of unplanned pregnancy provided by FPAHK. They hoped that through the sharing, they could gain experiences of other regions which should be beneficial to the service in their own region.
‘Peer led sexuality and relationships education for young people’
Ms Frances Bird - Director Health Promotion, New Zealand Family Planning
Peers are important in developing sex attitudes of young people. With suitable skills and training, they can yield twice the result with half the effort when being the vanguard in promoting sexuality education. This workshop raised out how to make peer sexuality education more effective, by talking about the definition, types, supporting theories and benefits of peer education, with the stage of planning needed when carrying out peer education, and its standard of evaluation, the workshop deepened the understanding of sex educators in peer education, and be more confident to those young people who are serving as peer sex educators.
‘Internet, Media Literacy and Youth Sexual Health: The new era pedagogy of sexuality education’
Ms Ng Hei-tung, Neda - Senior Prevention Officer, Youth Program, AIDS Concern
Media was indispensable in developing sexual values and attitudes of young people. In recent years, information in media was filled with sex messages, yet young people usually receive them without thinking, which may affect their sexual values negatively. Based on the youth programmes of AIDS Concern and various real examples of the media, this workshop aimed to discuss the main concepts of media literacy, and how to lead young people to have critical thinking before receiving the information from the media, which provided good reference for sex educators.