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The majority of teenagers are turning to porn to fill the gaps left by their sex-education lessons, a new survey suggests.

Almost two-thirds of young people have used pornography to find out more about sex, and two-fifths say that it has helped them to understand sex.

The survey of more than 2,500 young people, carried out by the National Union of Students, asked them to rate the quality of the sex and relationship education (SRE) they received in school. More than half said that the issues they needed to know about were not covered in these lessons.

Two-thirds considered their SRE lessons to have been “fair, poor or terrible”, and only a third said that they could practically apply the information covered to their real lives.

For the majority, these lessons simply focused on the biology and mechanics of sex: puberty, contraception, sexual health and anatomy are the subjects most commonly covered in schools.

Fewer than half of survey respondents said that the subject of relationships had been covered during their SRE lessons. And two-thirds said that the issue of consent was never discussed.

Colum McGuire, the vice-president of the NUS, said: “Sex is not a science lesson. People are being left with gaps in their education. SRE is failing millions.”

Jane Lees, the chair of the Sex Education Forum, said: “Consent and relationship safety are real issues affecting students, and sadly they are leaving school with little or no discussion of these topics.”

Fewer than a fifth were taught about lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender relationships in school. “In a country where we passed an equal-marriage bill, this is the height of hypocrisy,” Mr McGuire said.

Though three-quarters admitted that online pornography created “unrealistic expectations” about sex and sexuality, most said that it was nonetheless a standard part of young people’s lives.

New guidelines for sex-education education, drawn up last year by a number of sexual-health organisations, said that teachers should acknowledge ubiquity of pornography, but should teach pupils to understand the differences between “distorted images of sex” and real-life relationships.

The document, which was the first update to official advice regarding SRT, was backed by the Department for Education.

In response to the NUS survey, a DfE spokesman said that SRE is now compulsory in all secondary schools. “Good-quality relationship education is an important part of preparing young people for life in modern Britain,” he said. “

He added that a new PSHE expert subject group had been set up to support and advise teachers, and to provide new resources where necessary. [TES connect. 29.1.15]
...Multiple researchers conclude that hugging and cuddling can cure depression, stress, tension, anxiety and loneliness.

A proper hug where you heart touches the other person's heart can aid you with the following health benefits: Hugging leads to release of love hormones called Oxytocin, which fights feeling of depressions, loneliness and also fits of anger. It promotes a sense of safety, trust and honesty in a person. A long hug results in an increase in serotonin levels, which elevates your mood and makes your happy.

...Hugging is a way improves one's self esteem and helps in nurturing the ability to love oneself. As they boost blood circulation to the softer tissues hugs can ease your pains, relax your muscles and can also relax your body.

Hugs are similar to meditation or even laughter. You're mind stops thinking and you live in the moment. So you get out of your circular thinking patterns and unite with your heart, emotions and breathing simultaneously.

According to Virginia Satir, an American author and psychotherapist, "We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth."
[The Times Of India. 26.1.2015]
More than 5,900 people killed themselves in the UK in 2012, according to the Samaritans, most of them men. It is the leading cause of death among some age groups, according to the Office for National Statistics...
The Mental Health Taskforce report, commissioned by Mr Miliband in 2012, recommended early action to prevent problems escalating and increasing the burden on the NHS.
Mr Miliband said: "It cannot be right that when three-quarters of adult mental illness begins in childhood, children's mental health services get just six per cent of the mental health budget - nor that these vital services have been stripped back in recent years while £3bn has been wasted on an NHS reorganisation... [For the full report go to Sky News. 19.1.2015]
This tragic case is one I have followed closely as I have run Cyber Safety sessions at Breck's local schools to both the pupils and parents following this tragic, tragic story. I hope this sends a strong message to all parents/carers/teachers to educate their children on the dangers of the online world and I highly admire his mother - Lorin Lafave for being so selfless and bringing this hugely important issue into the public eye.

Breck Bednar murder: Lewis Daynes sentenced to life in prison

A teenager has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a 14-year-old boy he met through online gaming.

Computer engineer Lewis Daynes, 19, will serve a minimum term of 25 years for fatally stabbing Breck Bednar in February 2014.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard he lured the teenager, who lived in Surrey, to his flat in Grays, Essex, after months of talking online.

The murder had a sexual motive, the court heard.

Sentencing Daynes, of Rosebery Road, Grays, Mrs Justice Cox said: "Having lured the young victim to your flat, you murdered him.

"You had befriended Breck and a number of other adolescent friends through an online community.

"I'm sure that this murder was driven by sadistic or sexual motivation."

Speaking outside court, Lynn Harvey from the Crown Prosecution service described Daynes as a "controlling and manipulative individual".

After the sentencing, Breck's mother, Lorin LaFave, described her son's killer as a "vile menace".

"No amount of years behind bars will ever change the poisonous attitude and actions of a psychotic animal who can behave this way," she said.

"No amount of years will bring back the lovely boy taken from us."

A post-mortem examination found Daynes had slashed his victim's throat.

Lewis Daynes' 999 call has been released by Essex police

There was evidence of sexual activity between the two shortly before Breck was killed, prosecutor Richard Whittam QC told the court.

Shortly before the killing, Daynes bought duct tape, condoms and syringes online.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard Daynes had promised Breck "great wealth" through a fictional computer business.

They started talking on a gaming website in 2013, but friends and Breck's family suspected he was being controlled and manipulated by Daynes.

The pair exchanged a number of messages on social media and gaming conference call software "TeamSpeak".

The teenagers met face-to-face for the first time on 16 February, the evening before Breck was stabbed.

The next morning, Daynes called police and told them Breck had tried to take his own life, and in the struggle to save him, he had stabbed the schoolboy.

The nature of Breck's injuries meant death would have been "very rapid", Mr Whittam said... [BBC News Essex. 12.1.2015]
On a conference call in July, Facebook founder Zuckerberg estimated the average user spends 40 minutes each day on the social networking site...Forty minutes daily adds up to 280 minutes, or over 6½ hours, each week and 20 hours every month. If you cut your daily consumption of Facebook to 10 minutes, you would free up 30 minutes each day to spend on a workout or with family.

It would give you 15 additional hours every month to use on cooking meals, getting fit and participating in other activities that could garner far healthier results than scrolling and “liking.”

Paired with the fact that research shows your mood worsens with every additional minute spent on Facebook, your health could be a good motivator for logging off now and then.

[Fox News 11.1.15]
PSHEeducation is the part of the curriculum in which pupils learn how to stay healthy and safe and prepare for life and work in modern Britain. Yet despite its importance and the evidence of its potential, the subject isn’t statutory, meaning that millions of pupils miss out on the high-quality learning they need and deserve.

Who supports statutory status? Leading organisations such as the UK Youth Parliament, Office of the Children’s Commissioner, Public Health England and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, recent inquiries into abuse in Birmingham, Rochdale, Rotherham and Manchester as well as 87% of parents, 88% of teachers and 85% of business leaders.

For further information, to sign up your support or to read more about the case for PSHE go to PSHE Association.
PSHEeducation wishes you all a wonderful 2015.

It was a pleasure to work with so many fantastic people in 2014 and I am fired up and ready to work my socks off to reach as many young people as I can this year.

Could this be the year PSHE is fully given the recognition it needs? Fingers crossed!

My aims remain the same: To give every young person in England a wealth of opportunities to understand themselves and those around them, through top quality PSHEeducation, and thus to make informed choices which will enable them to live happy and healthy lives.