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I Wish I Had Learn to Keep Myself Safe: Sexuality and Relationships Education (SRE) For Pupils With Autistic Spectrum Condition

Brown, Mark (2019) I Wish I Had Learn to Keep Myself Safe: Sexuality and Relationships Education (SRE) For Pupils With Autistic Spectrum Condition. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:79502)


In recent years, in schools, sex and relationship education (SRE) has developed as a subject and become a bigger part of the National Curriculum in the UK. Indeed, 2020 sees the introduction of mandatory relationship education in all primary and secondary schools, and mandatory sex education in secondary schools. Although studies have explored some of the impact of autistic spectrum condition upon the use of SRE programmes, this has primarily centred upon attitudes of families and professionals.

This PhD attempted to explore the views and opinions of SRE from the point of view of both SRE co-ordinators and pupils with autistic spectrum condition. These were qualitative studies employing the use of 1:1 interviews with SRE co-ordinators from schools providing for pupils with autistic spectrum condition. This was followed by focus groups with pupils with autistic spectrum condition. The results suggested that the present SRE programmes being used within school were inadequate concerning the teaching of the more abstract socio-sexual world. This includes topics such as relationships, online world and consent. As a consequence, pupils with autistic spectrum condition felt unprepared for the wider world beyond school, including a feeling of vulnerability.

These two qualitative studies aided the development of an SRE programme which was implemented with two groups of pupils in two schools for pupils with autistic spectrum condition. Two measures were conducted with each pupil pre and post intervention. Results indicated improvements in the understanding of consent and abuse of the participants and some improvement in sexual knowledge. Although the results were positive, there were limitations affecting the generalisation of the programme. Such difficulties included the limited amount of pupils and schools within which the programme could be implemented, and the measures used. However, this study has provided a foundation for further research utilising further pilot sites.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Murphy, Glynis
Thesis advisor: McCarthy, Michelle
Uncontrolled keywords: Autism Autistic Spectrum Condition Sex Education Sexuality SRE Relationships
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2020 15:10 UTC
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2020 04:12 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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