Sexuality education takes centre stage at UC

The University of Canterbury is bringing an innovative sexuality education theatre show to the campus, giving educators and parents an insight into the cutting edge of how teenagers are being better helped to navigate relationships and sexuality.

The Theatre in Health Education Trust (THETA), in partnership with the University’s Te Kura Mātai Hauora |School of Health Sciences, presents Sexwise on Thursday 19 August in C3 lecture theatre. Tickets are free.

The national touring theatre show and workshop will be performed more than 100 times across the country this year, mostly in schools for year 9-13 students. This is a rare opportunity for parents, educators and the general public to see the latest in relationship and sexuality education.

Sexwise aims to challenge and motivate rangatahi/youth to discuss, explore and reflect on behaviours that affect their health and that of others, with reference to current accurate information. Sexwise provides an engaging and safe forum for discussion of often contentious, taboo and stigmatised subject matter.

University of Canterbury Health Sciences lecturer Tracy Clelland has utilised the show when working with young people and wanted to share it with her community of educators, and parents as well as the youth target group it was created for.

“This is a different way of thinking about providing sexuality education, working with youth interactively, rather than trying to deliver messages that still tend to revolve around adults as the experts,” Clelland says.

“Sexuality education must draw on the lived experiences of young people and this theatre initiative acknowledges the complexity and challenges young people face. Importantly, it supports young people to find solutions to relationships and sexuality conundrums through the use of realistic theatre-based scenarios.”

Sexwise is a resource for schools to kickstart these conversations with their students. However, it doesn’t replace comprehensive Relationships and Sexuality Education. Sexwise is a wonderful addition to well-designed, whole-school sexuality education programmes that include consultation with communities.

“The goal of Sexwise is to create a transformational and empowering experience, beyond simply delivering information,” Artistic Director Evan Hastings says.

Sexwise receives core funding from the Ministry of Health and has regional support from Rātā Foundation to extend their tour in Canterbury, Marlborough and Nelson.

Sexwise: Healthy Relationships & Sexuality Performance & Dialogue show is on

Thursday 19 August 2021, 6.30pm – 8pm, C3 Lecture Theatre, University of Canterbury.

Tickets are free – please book your seat here.  

For more information about Sexwise visit here or email manager@theta.org.nz

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