The Daily Telegraph - Saturday

‘Not to catcall women’

- Henry Nash, 23

I knew the basics of sex when I was a teenager, in terms of human anatomy, but I wish I’d known more about sexual behaviour – how to treat women and how to interact with them on social media, for instance. Gay sex was never spoken about either, and I don’t remember being taught about sexually transmitte­d diseases. That’s quite shocking.

The sexual education I received when I was younger wasn’t good enough. My first class about sex in school was when I was in Year 6; I remember being shown a cartoon of a man and woman chasing each other round a bed with a feather. It wasn’t very helpful.

Even in secondary school, sex as a subject was very lightly touched upon. Conversati­ons about sexual behaviour are just as important as learning the basics. I learnt naturally through interactio­ns with my friends about what’s right and wrong, but I was never taught basic things, like not to catcall women.

Sexting is huge nowadays, especially on Instagram and Snapchat. Even when I was young, sending explicit photos was common. So many people have had their nude photos – or those of someone they know – sent around their school. Surely teenagers should be told about the dynamics of how that works, and what’s right and wrong? Conversati­ons about sexting and revenge porn might be hard to have, but they are necessary. When I was a teenager, revenge porn would never come up in conversati­ons, and porn was just laughed about if it was brought up in class. But these things need to be taken seriously.

As told to Claudia Rowan

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