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Science
CAMPAIGNING FOR HEALTH
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Programme 1: Sexual Health

Tuesday 2 April 2002, 9.00-9.30pm

Every year across the globe, millions of dollars are spent on trying to persuade people to look after their health. Some campaigns have proved spectacular successes, others have had no effect at all. Jackie Hardgrave explores the business of health education, its triumphs and pitfalls, and its vital role in protecting the health of a community.

Couple

1. Sexual Health - The British aren't very good at talking about sex. Therein lies a problem when trying to mount campaigns to change people's sexual behaviour. The early 1980s, when the HIV/AIDS adverts were first broadcast, wasn't a good time to try to change people's behaviour. At that time the messages were: use a condom, have safe sex, don't have too many partners. People were then left to make up their own minds about their behaviour. Now though, campaigns and sex education have changed to try to alter the way we have sex - and this has proved to be the only way to affect the numbers of those suffering with sexually transmitted diseases. Scare and fear tactics were used in those early campaigns - and it turned people off.
Mates

Campaigners have now admitted that people will always have sex, and that scare stories fail to change the way people behave. They have also admitted that teenagers will always have sex - especially when you tell them not to! So how do you go about educating people about the joys and pitfalls of sex without losing morals, increasing promiscuity in the young, and promoting so much fear that we all put our heads in the sand and carry on as usual? This programme looks at a new branch of sex education in schools and youth clubs designed to lower the rate of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. It also examines the history of national sexual health campaigns and how we have become less prudish over the years. Jackie Hardgrave investigates the different approaches to a sensitive subject.

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