Sex & Ethics research and violence prevention project
began in 2005 as a joint project of the University
of Western Sydney and the NSW
Rape Crisis Centre. This project was funded through a grant
from the Australian Research Council 2005-2008.
project began by interviewing young women and men aged 16-25 of
diverse sexualities from rural and city locations in NSW Australia.
We wanted to understand how young women and men negotiate sexual
relationships and their views on the adequacy of current sexuality
and sexual assault prevention education. They identified that their
education failed to prepare them for the complexity of sexual intimacy
including issues around consent, sexual negotiation and pressured
sex. The young people felt existing programmes focused primarily
on risk and danger and excluded positive skills for ethical intimacy.
As an alternative, the Sex & Ethics education programme
focuses on promoting ethical non-violence skills that assist young
people to negotiate sexual intimacy positively.
of these interviews informed the development of a six week education
program for young people. The program provides young women
and men opportunities to learn new ways of negotiating sexual intimacy.
This is based on a sexual ethics framework developed by
Moira Carmody PhD who has over 25 years of experience in working
with young people and on sexual assault prevention education.