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“The elephant in the room”

We finally kicked off the ISEX mentoring program for teachers and educators at the end of October. 8 thematic meetings, until March 2023, will cover different topics related to sexual and emotional education and would serve as a guide for teachers and educators while testing ISEX activities with their students. 

Let’s get rid of sex taboos, and start talking about it!

Who should be responsible for the sex education of young people? Family, schools or maybe peers? While trying to find out the right answer, this matter is being kind of avoided, especially in Italy. We are thus in this educational and informational vacuum where we know that one in two adolescents finds on the internet the answers to their sexual-related questions, and thus, running the risk of stumbling upon wrong information, creating false beliefs or wrong expectations about sexual, emotional and relational spheres.  

ISEX project has been created to fill the void by bringing to young people comprehensive sexual education (CSE) in local schools. Following on the teachers’ training performed during the past months – March to October 22 – we have just launched “The Elephant in the Room”, a mentoring program for teachers and educators, composed of 8 thematic meetings, jointly developed by local experts and organizations:

Module 1 – Introductive activities & Ice-breakers – 25 October 2022

Module 2 – Bodies – 22 November 2022 – in collaboration with SISM Palermo

Module 3 – Consent and boundaries – 5 December 2022 – in collaboration with Assemblea Femminista del Porco Rosso

Module 4 – Feelings and emotions – 12 January 2023 – in collaboration with CSC Danilo Dolci

Module 5 – Sex and culture – week of 30th January 2023 (TBD) – in collaboration with Non Una di Meno Palermo

Module 6 – Sex, gender and identity – week of 13th February 2023 (TBD) – in collaboration with Arcigay Palermo

Module 7 – All about relationships – week of 6th March 2023 (TBD)

Last meeting – Feedback session – 27th March 2023

Each meeting will deepen on 8 topics that make up the ISEX curriculum, and in each session, many non-formal activities developed within the project will be presented and shared. 

Participants will be invited, in turn, to test the proposed activities with their students. Their feedback will be crucial to complete the program, in order to adapt it to the adolescents’ and educators’ needs.  

Elephant in the room” is a metaphoric expression regarding “a truth that, although obvious and flashy, is ignored or minimized”. It might be difficult, if not impossible, not seeing an elephant inside a small room. Nowadays there is a tendency of avoiding facing the problem by pretending the elephant does not exist, 

In this context, the elephant is the depiction of sexuality and everything that surrounds it. Sexual and emotional education among young people is always been taboo both in the school environment and in a familiar atmosphere, creating a gap in emotional-sexual and relational competencies: we grow up knowing how to resolve a complex mathematic equation, but being naïve regarding our emotional intelligence, health relationships basis and sexuality standardization.

ISEX project sheds some light on this matter; sexual health is not only about giving a biological and anatomical approach towards students but is rather talking about a wider spectrum of related topics like consent, bodies, emotions, relationships, gender, etc, designed to live our sexuality positively and harmoniously. 

“Any self-expression, verbal or/and nonverbal, made to please yourself or others, in a consensual and reciprocal way”

The above definition of sexuality was suggested by a teacher participating in the ISEX training courses performed in October. 

Do you want to be involved in the ISEX program? Write us! Participation is free and open- you can choose whether to attend all meetings or only those of your interest.