Back to top

In the media

Sex Education Forum is regularly called on to comment on RSE in national media. Here are a few examples of recent media activity. 

BBC News - 24 October 2023
Parents have right to see sex education materials
Guardian - 10 May 2023

'Children in English schools need better sex education experts tell MPs'

Woman's Hour - 27 March 2023

Special episode on sex education (27 March 2023)

Independent Voices - 2 March 2023

'If you thought we'd learner a lesson from Andrew Tate, think again' (Lucy Emmerson, Op Ed)

Guardian - 2 March 2023

Impact of pornography not taught enough in schools in England (Alexandra Topping) 

Sec Ed / Headteacher update - 4 October 2021

The shockwaves of Ofsted’s review of sexual harassment and abuse in schools can still be felt. Schools are now responding. Lucy Emmerson looks at the role of effective RSE as part of this response. Article in Sec Ed / Headteacher update. 

BBC Radio 4 - 3 August 2021
Woman's Hour

Chief Executive, Lucy Emmerson talks with host Emma Barnett and writer Eleanor Mills about a now deleted but much discussed and decried tweet from the journalist Flora Gill, which suggested "entry level" porn should be made available to teenagers as an antidote to the hard core material they’re already accessing online. Does she have a point? Listen from 39 minutes. 

BBC Radio 4 - 24 April 2021
Archive on 4 - Our Bodies Ourselves

Sex Education Forum trustees Jane Lees OBE and Alison Hadley OBE interviewed as part of this look back at the creation of Our Bodies, Ourselves - a revolutionary text in the history of women's liberation.
Listen on BBC Sounds 

Observer - 4 April 2021
'Are single-sex schools the safe option after abuse scandal' by solution' by Andrew Anthony

" For Lucy Emmerson, director of the Sex Education Forum, the issue is not about the type of school, whether single sex or co-educational, private or state, but the general ethos, and how proactive the school is in “addressing gender and power”.

See full article in the Observer

Evening Standard - 18 March 2021
'Plea for tolerance as school sex abuse site deluged with complaints' 

"There is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make relationships and sex education live up to the expectations we have of it, now that the subject is finally statutory. Part of that is about fostering respect and gender equality and supporting children to understand power in relationships. We can’t abandon children to look for answers from the internet and pornography.

All these issues can be discussed responsibly in relationships and sex education. Research shows that this changes behaviour and helps prevent harm, but studies show that teachers need rigorous training. We need to take parents on a journey too.”

See full article in Evening Standard

Guardian - 20 March 2021
'How to teach young people about sex and relationships - by the experts' - Alexandra Topping

It’s not about ‘the chat’ Lucy Emmerson, the director of the Sex Education Forum , says the idea of “the chat” – perhaps about periods for girls, and safe sex for boys – is unhelpful. She instead encourages parents to talk about sex and relationships little and often. This could be by using distancing techniques, such as picture books with younger children or talking about storylines in dramas, billboards or advertising with older children.

Don’t ignore gender inequality “Gender and power dynamics needs to be a thread throughout the relationships and sex education,” says Emmerson, who suggests looking at – and challenging – stereotypes in the media about masculinity and femininity. Research shows that female carers talk more with girls about relationships, sex and growing up, she says. “Boys are missing out on conversations with adults because parents are more reluctant to have those conversations with boys. But, you know, arguably they need it even more. The burden of information and responsibility can’t just be put on the girls to manage all of this.”

See full article in the guardian 

BBC Radio 4 Today programme - 20 March 2021 

BBC Sounds Piece starts at 1hr 50mins 3sec.