Art & Sex-Ed: Using comics for CALD youth sexual education

Sexual education can be a tumultuous process for teens and young adults, even more so for those from our culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Imagine discussing what is already a taboo topic in many cultures, compounded with language barriers and contrasting ideologies.

» Tan Œ Safe sexS.H.A.R.E is a new guided learning tool created by strategic design consultancy, Paper Giant, and commissioned by the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health, that uses cleverly designed comics as discussion points for community health workers and youth.

Chris Marmo, co-founder of Paper Giant, spoke to YR about the process of creating what is fundamentally a sex-ed guide for CALD youth.

“It can be awkward talking about sexual health, with culturally and linguistically diverse young people it’s super hard.”

The team began its research by gathering stories from social workers relating to sexual experiences among youth in the community, with both language barriers and age as a major component in the analysis.

“These obstacles compounded, using comics as a discussion point for youth sexual heath education was a natural decision.” Says Chris.

Through a network of youth advocates, supervised workshops were conducted to gain a deeper understanding of the first-hand issues CALD youth face. Using the comics depicting the scenarios outlined by social workers they began to identify other factors surrounding youth relationships and sexual interactions.

“We had some really brilliant young people, across a range of religions and cultural backgrounds… [and] we learnt a lot from what they were noticing in the stories, but we learnt even more from what they didn’t notice.”

Having a healthy relationship and positive sexual interactions is largely learned through social groups, home life and society attitudes at large. Often CALD youth are not permitted to talk about sex at home leaving them to generate their own ideas through social streams, entertainment and news.

“A lot of cultural attitudes became apparent when people would comment on things like teen pregnancy and how it is the responsibility of the girl to manage that.”

 

» Solomon and Sally Œ Comic

SOLOMON AND SALLY: SECUAL ASSAULT

The comics depict scenarios such as unplanned pregnancy and sexual assault as well as highlighting pressure tactics used to dissuade condom use or initiate sexual intercourse.

Some scenarios, such as ‘Solomon and Sally: Sexual Assault’ and ‘Solomon and Sally: Happy Ending’ show the outcome of two possible scenarios, one in which sex is forced and the other where it is consensual.

SOLOMON AND SALLY: HAPPY ENDING

SOLOMON AND SALLY: HAPPY ENDING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With recourses in the health and community sector already stretched thin, having effective teaching material is paramount. All too often recourses are poured into streams that are inaccessible to target groups or have little preemptive focus.

“The biggest effect you can have from a project is making really good quality stuff that is available to everybody who wants it…We found that young people don’t search for this stuff unless they have a medical issue… so the idea of self-guided education and general niceties around how to have a healthy relationship or what positive and negative sex is, people don’t research that on their own. They only research that stuff if they have a specific issue they want to find an answer to, some kind of medical issue or they are already in trouble in some way.”

Since the projects launch in April, Marmo says the guides have been quite popular among the social services sector and have already been used in youth detention and other learning facilites around Melbourne.

The comics are available for download along with discussion points and other relevant learning material on the S.H.A.R.E website.

 

No Comments, Be The First!

Your email address will not be published.