New teaching resource increases the scope of sexuality education

MEDIA RELEASE

21 July 2015

A ground-breaking new sexuality teaching resource has been launched today by the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA) and Family Planning Victoria (FPV).

The Fertility and Assisted Reproduction: Teaching Module expands the remit of sexuality education in schools to information about fertility, donor conception and assisted reproductive treatment (ART), including IVF, donor conception and surrogacy.

Developed by experts in the fields of sexual and reproductive health as well as ART, the module is uniquely designed to provide Australian primary and secondary schools with a progressive educational resource.

“This is an important addition to sexuality education,” said VARTA CEO Louise Johnson. “Good sexuality information gives people the opportunity to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health including managing their fertility.”

“Research shows us that around two-thirds of Australians don’t have enough information about the fertile time in a woman’s menstrual cycle. Having a complete picture of reproductive health factors like when a woman can get pregnant allows young people to make informed decisions about their contraception and eventually about how to increase their chances of conceiving,” Ms Johnson said.

The resource aims to raise awareness and knowledge about reproduction and factors that influence fertility and reproductive outcomes, including age, weight, alcohol, smoking, drugs and STIs. It also looks at reproductive life planning.

Teachers will be able to refer to the module throughout primary and secondary school years, adding and improving on students’ understanding of the issues and tailoring information according to the capacity of students to understand.

“Sexuality education in schools should be an ongoing process – and not simply about teaching it once and then ticking it off a list,” said FPV CEO Lynne Jordan. “This resource will enable teachers to build on children’s knowledge, depending on their age and requirements.”

Inclusion of information about donor conception and ART is a response to the changing landscape of schools; in particular that many children in schools have been conceived as a result of ART.

“On average, there is now one child per classroom born from ART. Children need to know about this technology and how it is used to create families,” Ms Johnson said. “This resource will provide teachers with information on how best to talk about ART in order to help children understand that it is normal for families to be created in different ways.”

The Fertility and Assisted Reproduction: Teaching Module was funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. It forms part of the broader Comprehensive Relationship and Sexuality Education Program developed by FPV. It is available for download at https://www.varta.org.au/resources/publications/fertility-and-assisted-r...

For further information:

Visit VARTA's at www.varta.org.au or Family Planning Victoria at www.fpv.org.au

Or contact:

Marjorie Solomon, Public Relations Officer, VARTA

Phone: 03 8601 5250

Mobile: 0452 515 302

Email: [email protected]

Louise Johnson, CEO, VARTA

Phone: 03 8601 5250

Mobile: 0419 557 639

Email: [email protected]

Lynne Jordan, CEO, FPV

Phone: 03 9257 0100

Email: [email protected]

Funding for VARTA is provided by the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services.