Saturday, 5 March 2016

5 Topics Teenagers Need To Be Educated More About In School

5 Topics Teenagers Need To Be Educated More About In School feminism blogger lifestyle mental health

Okay, so it's really cliche to sit here and moan about what we learnt in school " Why do I learn about algebra and trigonometry, when I am never going to need it in life" " but they should teach us about tax and mortgages etc." which if you have this conversation with any adult they will probably reply " well some people might need it if they want to become an engineer, therefore, so do you! " 

Yeah, that's a good point but I honestly think it's more than that! In life, you have to do things that you don't want to do and in way secondary schools teaches you that! The way in which you react to it- is up to you! Anyway, that's beside the point! Although I think learning about tax, money and conventional life skills are important there are many more important issues which need to be discussed in schools!

It's 2016 and yet there is still such a massive stigma around some of the issues I am going to mention in this post! It doesn't have to be that way! We can raise more culturally aware children if we start talking instead of brushing all these issues under the Carpet all the time!

Warning! This post contains a lot of documentary references because apparently watching documentaries is all I seem to do in my spare time!! 





#1 MENTAL HEALTH 
I can confidently sit here and say that I bet every single one of you reading this can think of someone you know that has suffered or is suffering from a mental health problem. Whether that be yourself, a close friend, a family member or even a celebrity.

Mental health thankfully is something that is talked about a lot more than what it was due to the work of charities and celebrity endorses, however, this isn't to say that a stigma isn't still there! And nowhere is this more present than within schools! I was watching the BBC documentary ' the not so secret life of a manic depressive' which followed Steven fry and other suffers from bipolar-related disorders. One particular young man was filmed during an episode of a manic stage of his bipolar disorder on a tube in London. This video was then uploaded to the Internet in which it was then flooded Nasty, rude and disrespectful comments. 

As part of his campaign, the man showed this clip to a group of school children. Nearly all of the children are shown to be laughing and finding the clip hysterically funny and then he reveals what they had just watched to actually be someone's low in a mental health disorder! Part of me wants to scream and shout at these kids! Telling them they are all narrow-minded and disrespectful but can you really blame them if they have had no prior education! If children were made a lot more aware of mental health and the different ways in which it can manifest themselves, would they have reacted very differently?

To me, this just reiterates the importance of educating young people about mental health from an early age! What it is, the symptoms, how to respond to someone with a mental health condition and the support out there that is available to them, if they feel like they ever need it!


#2 CONSENT AND RAPE

Another touchy topic that is never discussed within sex education classes yet is probably the first most important element of sex! 

Again I watched a documentary, last summer called 'Sex in class' ( Thank you channel 4) where a sexologist wanted to introduce sexology into the GCSE Syllabus with an exam at the end! A group of 15 and 16-year-olds volunteered for the classes and were taught all about things from sex pleasure to consent.

And it was their comments on consent that were most alarming for me! When they discussed consent the general response from the males was ' if she agreed to do it once and she automatically agrees to do it every other time' and ' if she said yes, that's an automatic YES to everything' NO! No, it's not!

Again, like the mental health situation! Your natural response is to slate these teenagers! Tell them how narrow-minded, disrespectful and arrogant they are! But in fact, okay yes, having respect for another human being is innate and shouldn't need to be taught, without any education into what consent sounds like and all the elements surrounding consent- are they really to blame?! 

I mean it's safe to say I don't think these teenagers would laugh at rape ( well let's hope not) but if a girl refused to ' swallow out of respect' would that be followed with the same level of disgust as for rape- probably not!



5 Topics Teenagers Need To Be Educated More About In School lifestyle blogger UK feminism taboos mental health

#3 CANCER 

Like mental health, I bet all of you sitting here can think of someone in the world, famous or not that has been affected by cancer! You only have to look at all the celebrities we have lost this year so far to realise how much of an issue this actually is!

Young people need to be taught about the signs to look out for that could indicate cancer! It's easy to shy away from going to your doctors because you ' Googled it and it's probably nothing' but actually although I don't think we should be banging on the doctors door every 20 seconds, encouraging girls to check their breasts and everyone to look out for changes in moles can surely only be beneficial for young people's health and wellbeing! 

But not just the symptoms to look out for but teaching children about the support that's out there, the research that's been done to help and the ways you can help reduce your risk of getting some forms of cancer!

We fear the word so much through a lack of communication and talking about it! I am fully aware it's a sensitive topic but if young people are educated sooner there may be a day when we actually beat cancer all together! 



#4 INFLUENCE OF PORNOGRAPHY
Okay, back to my Channel 4 'Sex in class' documentary! In the same show the class were shown pictures of female pubic hair and the males were asked to pick which ones they liked the best. The males picked the images with no hair. The teacher replied but what if your girlfriend decided that she shouldn't keep shaving because it was too itchy and she kept getting a rash! The young male replied " I would leave her the next day" 

Thankfully, this comment was met with a round of disgust from within the class. Now I am not one to judge so I am not going to jump to conclusions about what he actually thought as it is probably likely he was showing off to the class and teacher but at the end of the day, the question is where did he get these opinions.

At the start of the show, the males admitted to watching porn. I think we have the culprit! The influence of porn needs to be discussed in sex education classes in school, with both males and females! 

Young people need to be aware that what they see in these videos is far from the truth! They shouldn't let these unrealistic images distort their opinions. They are not the truth but again can students be blamed if they have had no prior education! Therefore, I think more needs to be done to raise awareness of this very important topic! 


#5 FEMINISM AND EQUAL RIGHTS

I am aware this post is really long! Hang in there, please! 

The last topic which needs to be talked about more in schools is feminism and equal rights for men and women! Thankfully, we have progressed so much and now women have so many more rights than what they did have however they still don't have equal rights to men, they still don't get paid as much for doing the same job as a man and still denied the right to do some jobs because they are a female!

Now, don't set me off about feminism otherwise, I will be here for hours but it's a seriously important topic! I think there's a lot of stigma around feminism and what it means to be a feminist! Uneducated people automatically picture hairy women, who hate men storming the streets with big placards! This isn't the case at all! And in fact, men can be feminists too!! 

Children and young people need to be aware of the history of feminism and what it means to be a feminist! I think nowadays it's a very thrown around word, which is used a lot but not always understood!

This doesn't have to be the case! Talking about it! Raising Awareness! Just like for all of these issues is what is going to bring change!!

I hope you all agree!

If there is anything else you think that should be added to the list, which I am sure there is! Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you very much for reading, as always x
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35 comments

  1. I went to a Catholic school and they weren't allowed to teach us anything about sex, especially contraception! They even advocate withdrawal, it was ridiculous. I would definitely ad budgeting - how to save for bills etc. I had absolutely NO idea how to set up bills or anything when I first moved into my student home

    Steph - http://nourishmeclean.blogspot.com

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    1. Really? Thats stupid! oh yes I definitely think that should also be covered x

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  2. I 100% believe all of those things should be taught in school, especially mental health. In my personal experience in my school, all they talk about is bullying and the negative effects eg. depression but never go further into it. Nice post!
    Róisin
    totallyro.blogspot.ie

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    1. Bullying is so heavily talked about, which is great but they don't talk about mental health at all x

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  3. So true. I think more schools should have talks about mental health - so pupils can know how to tell if they themselves are struggling or how to help someone they know through it xx

    bethmay75.blogspot.co.uk

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  4. These topics are so important they definitely should teach a lot more about them at schools! You are so right!
    Paula | www.namelessgap.blogspot.com

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  5. I couldn't agree more with you! This is what we should also be taught in school along side all those subjects like math, literature and so on. Yes, maths, English and all the subject that are taught in school nowadays are important, but the things like mental health, taxes and all things you just have listed are as important too :)

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

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    1. Yes! I think its very important to get a balance x

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  6. Brilliant list. We briefly went over some of these topics at school but nowhere near as much as we should have. x

    Erin | beingerin.com

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    1. Really, my school never touched on them x

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  7. Everything you have said is so true!! These topics need to be addressed in school's. They're so important and crucial for being educated properly!!!x

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk

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  8. Yes! All of these topics need to be talked about a lot more and taught in schools! These subjects are all so stigmatised and people feel so awkward talking about them when they really shouldn't! Great post as always.

    Jemima x
    anotherrantingreader.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Yes, I feel like that is the main reason why they need to be talked about more x

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  9. I think some refreshers on what 'healthy eating' is would be useful to add in. There's a lot of "advice" out there about what we shouldn't eat - but my opinion is that we don't need a long list of food rules of what is good/ bad - just the ability to tell whether our diets are generally well balanced or not!
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

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    1. I feel like my school covered healthy eating a lot but I appreciate not every school does x

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  10. I think it is really important to mention things, I haven't considered any of these until now! Great post Nicole!
    Paige xo The Joys of Being Paige

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  11. Love this post and I love the documentaries you mentioned! I think there's a lot missing from education which can be really damaging to peoples point of view of themselves and others. To me it seems like common sense that these would be taught yet it's ignored. It's weird, I'd love to work in this kind of area though because I think it needs so much work! XX

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    1. Same! I would love to be part of the education system, to change what schools teach for the better! Thank you! Weren't they just so great?!

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  12. I cannot agree more with these! Everything is so PG in schools now, teenagers need to learn about this stuff. Mental health lessons would have helped me so much when I was school. Great post!
    Steph x.
    marvelsteph.blogspot.co.nz

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    1. I think they would of helped a lot of people out! Thanks x

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  13. If only there was enough time! I was a teacher for 7 years before leaving due to ridiculous expectations and pressure. These things really need to be taught, but the basics aren't even being met right now, thanks to the government employing non-specialists to control and manage education. In an ideal world these things should and would be taught. But without a government who listens, we can't do a thing about these important issues.

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    1. I know! I know! It's silly, but I still think these issues should be of utmost importance x

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  14. You are showing yourself to be quite mature and well rounded with this post and I like that. The curriculum is too slow to be approved and kids and teens need so much help, I can't even remember what it was like when I was young and the lack of support, it seems much better now but still a long way to go. one thing though, the overuse of exclamation marks in every couple of lines brings down the content of your writing a lot, it seems too young teen and doesn't match with your actual writing and content which is good

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    1. Thank you very much! I am actually going to have to respectfully disagree with you on the exclamation mark front! I write essays every day for college and I know how to punctuate my work perfectly, however, my blog is informal, a diary or a collection of thoughts, advice etc. it is part of my style of writing and I am very much going to keep it that way! But thank you for the suggestion

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  15. I feel very lucky to say that my school educates most of these points however I would find it extremely difficult sitting in a lesson about #3 due to personal experiences - it could greatly benefit so many people though. Wonderful post as always xo

    emsirose.blogspot.com

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    1. I know it would be! Which is why only people who wanted to sit through them would have to! No one should be forced due to personal experiences like you said! You must have a very good school though x

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  16. I totally agree! As a primary school teacher I'm keen to have us talk more about a range of topics, children are not stupid! It all depends on the school, however, not just the local authority (government); some are run by people who still have narrow mind-sets sadly. Love that you are sharing this, this is needed!

    viicreative.co.uk

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    1. yeah its a shame that not people are as willing as you :)

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  17. Great list! I agree with every single thing you put on it.

    S .x http://ramblingsofayoungprgirl.blogspot.com

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  18. Good thinking!
    I totally agree!!

    xo Honey
    honeysroyaltybeauty.blogspot.com

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