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Grace Alice – Sex Education

Grace Alice is an Irish Sexuality Educator, based in Galway city. She is originally trained as an Occupational Therapist and this is where her interest in positive sexual health promotion began. She feels there is very little emphasis on addressing sex and intimacy in practice. So she decided to do Masters in Health Promotion, specialising in adolescent body image. She has worked as Relationships and Sexuality Educator for 5 years now. She has set up her own business and brand to work independently as a Sexuality Educator for adults.

She believes :
Sexuality and relationships are intrinsic to every person and their health and happiness and thus sex education is extremely important for everyone. Sexuality is something that is universally important and impactful. It is entangled with psychology, biology, genetics, law, politics, sociology, healthcare.

What many people fail to recognise is that although sex is a wholly normal and natural part of being human, the act of having sex does not necessarily come ‘naturally’. We learn how to have sex. We learn sexual attitudes, beliefs, behaviours and norms. Some of this learning can be very unhelpful and we may need to also ‘unlearn’.

According to her,

  1. Comprehensive, factual and shame-free sex education is a powerful way through which people can learn and unlearn.
  2. Conversations about sex should come in all forms – long talks, quick chats, funny conversations, serious conversations. Such conversations about sexuality and sexual health just need to become more ‘normal’.
  3. It is important to talk to children and teens about their bodies, sexuality, consent, etc., but this should not just stop at age 18!
    Most people who have lived through their mid and late twenties onwards can attest that they still had a lot to learn as a young adult, especially people who had little to no competent sex education growing up!
  1. Learning about sex and sexuality is a life-long process!
    Anyone trying to start a conversation shouldn’t worry about getting everything ‘right’ but making an attempt to open up that channel of communication is a big and important step, even if it does not go the way you’d planned!

She further adds on, getting information from reputable sites, examining your own biases and beliefs related to sex, keeping an open mind, being kind and patient with yourself and each other can really make a huge difference!

She says that even in in western culture, barriers exist in Sex Ed.
It includes funding, access and general attitudes towards sexuality – which can be influenced by religion, history, family, friends, the media, and so on.

In order to break down these barriers, it is necessary to keep challenging attitudes towards sexuality which are rooted in shame, sexism, misogyny, racism, prejudice and misinformation.