Educating and Helping Challenging Youth with SRGE-related Issues

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 3 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 36

Contact Hours: 15

Assessment Hours: 24

Duration: 6 sessions


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This module aims to provide course participants with the knowledge, skills and competences they need to help challenging youth explore their psychosexual story, an endeavour that has the potential of changing these young people’s attitudes toward sexuality, increasing appreciation for it, and nurturing it to achieve sexual integrity that positively affects life choices in different social contexts. The first part of the module will provide the basics of Sexuality Relationships Gender Education (SRGE), by explaining its rationale, its fundamental principles and main aims, as well as the various pedagogical models through which it is delivered in different countries. It will also look at and analyse the different perspectives and perceptions of sexuality and gives a broad and holistic definition that encompasses all its facets and aspects, as well as the factors that shape it throughout the different life stages. This part will also take a close look at various theories and perspectives of developmental psychology that could facilitate the understanding of sexual development and the development of sexual identity throughout the entire human lifespan, especially during the childhood, adolescent and early adulthood stages. This analysis will include an emphasis on the relationality of human sexuality. This will be explored and reflected upon as it unfolds throughout the progressive stages of sexual development, as understood by different theories. The pedagogical implications of these different perspectives will be emphasized and offered to participants for critical reflection, analysis and discussion. Moreover, this section of the course will seek a thorough understanding of factors in and aspects of the personality/identity development of challenging youth, including issues related to neurodiversity, that contributed to their challenging behaviour, and to their distorted ideas of sexuality and related issues.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Advise leaders and people responsible for young peoples’ well-being on how SRGE should be delivered to challenging youth;

b. Comprehend the needs of challenging young people with respect to SRGE;

c. Appreciate the good potential of challenging young people to learn through various pedagogies and strategies that promote exploration of knowledge, critical thinking, reflection and self-reflexivity, and peer and communal learning in the context of a developing community of learning;

d. Propose to leaders and persons responsible for adolescents’ and young people’s well-being on which materials and resources they should invest in to successfully implement SRGE to challenging youth, while involving all stakeholders involved in the system (students, parents/guardians, and all educators employed by the educational institution having these challenging young people);

e. Guide their adolescents and youth in understanding and appreciating the true value, uniqueness, and beauty of their own sexuality, understood holistically;

f. Develop comprehensive, respectful, and inclusive support strategies that address the unique needs of neurodiverse adolescents with divergent behaviours when dealing with SRE related issues.

g. Ensure that their students (challenging young people) would always have opportunities to discuss various SRE-related issues that they feel and believe are important and relevant to their own personal psycho-sexual development;

h. Create the appropriate learning climate that helps and motivates challenging young people to ask any questions they like with regard to sexuality and SRE, and feel safe to think critically, even while expressing personal experiences;

i. Initiate specialized programs and appealing initiatives in SRGE for challenging young people, even in collaboration with other educational institutions and NGO’s.


a. Define ‘Sexuality’ in a holistic manner;

b. Identify the various aspects of human sexuality, and how they interact with several environmental factors in challenging young people;

c. Identify various SRE-related issues that are relevant to young people, especially challenging youth;

d. List different theories of ‘human sexual development; an understanding of how neurodiversity can influence an adolescents in relation to SRE, including potential challenges in interpreting social cues, and understanding consent;

e. Identify some of their implications for education in general and more specifically to SRGE that addresses the needs of challenging young people;

f. Define ‘sex and ‘gender’ in the light of present theories and literature derived from recent and relevant research;

g. Explain what factors present in the course of human development could possibly affect the understanding that young challenging people have of sex and gender;

h. Define what true and authentic intimacy is;

i. Outline what factors could possibly affect the distorted ideas of intimacy in challenging young people;

j. List the different forms of intimacy and describe the relationship between them and its importance to holistic human development;

k. List various stereotypes and prejudices that are act as obstacles to authentic intimacy, especially in challenging youth;

l. Define ‘abstinence-only’, ‘comprehensive’ and SRGE models of education and describe the differences between them;

m. Describe the crucial importance of the relationship between SRGE-trained professionals and the youth they are responsible for, especially when the latter are challenging;

n. Define and distinguish between ‘healthy’ and ‘abusive’ relationships;

o. Define ‘masturbation’, ‘’pornography’, ‘sexual promiscuity’, ‘STIs’, ‘contraception’ and ‘(online) sexual abuse’;

p. List different: Types of pornography; Possible causes and consequences of compulsive masturbation; Causes and possible effects and consequences of sexual promiscuity; STIs, their symptoms and treatment; Forms of contraception; Forms of sexual abuse, including those that occur online;

q. List the main characteristics and features of various pedagogies, techniques and strategies that can effectively educate challenging young people in the topics & issues related to SRGE.


a. Assess how one’s sexuality in all its aspects and facets is influenced and shaped to a significant extent by different environmental factors, especially in challenging young people;

b. Evaluate how various aspects of everyday human living and sexual issues are related, and how this relationship shapes human personality, especially that of challenging youth;

c. Devise different educational activities and initiatives through which adolescents and young people could reflect upon the beauty of healthy relationships that enrich human lives, and the negative consequences of abusive relationships;

d. Develop through practical examples how true authentic intimacy could be learnt, developed/matured, and expressed;

e. Express how the understanding of several SRE-related issues can help them become more empathic with the challenging adolescents’ real struggles and concerns in their various psycho-sexual developmental stages they are in;

f. Create educational activities in SRGE to address the needs and challenges that young people have with respect to various specific SRGE-related topics and issues;

g. Reflect upon their own feelings about sexuality and SRE-related issues, their origins, and consequences on their perspective on sexuality in general.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Assignment, Presentation and Online Fora.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. S & Muttock, S. (2004). Assessment, Evaluation and Sex and Relationships Education – a practical toolkit for education, health and community settings. National Children’s Bureau: UK
  2. BZga/WHO Regional Office for Europe (2010). Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe A framework for policy makers, educational and health authorities and specialists.
  3. Fields, J., Toquinto, S. (2017). Sexuality Education in the Context of Mass Incarceration: Interruptions and Entanglements. In: Allen, L., Rasmussen, M.L. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Sexuality Education. Palgrave Macmillan, London.
  4. Forrest, S. Blake, S. & Ray, C. (2003). Sex and relationships education – a guide for independent schools and those working with them. National Children’s Bureau: London, UK.
  5. Lehmiller, J. J. (2018). The Psychology of Human Sexuality. John Wiley & Sons. (Chicester).
  6. Ministry of Education, Employment and the Family (2012). A National Curriculum Framework for all. Salesian Press: Malta.
  7. Ministry for Health, the Elderly and Community Care (2011). National Sexual Health Strategy.
  8. Ponzett, J. J. (2015). Evidence-based Approaches to Sexuality Education (Textbooks in Family Studies. Routledge.
  9. Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (2004) Guidelines for comprehensive sexuality education third edition; Fulton Press: US.
  10. Watson, J., Bryce, I., Phillips, T. M., Sanders, T., & Brömdal, A. (2023). Transgender Youth, Challenges, Responses, and the Juvenile Justice System: A Systematic Literature Review of an Emerging Literature. Youth Justice0(0).
  11. UNESCO (2009) International guidelines on sexuality education: An evidence informed approach to effective sex, relationships and HIV/STI education.
Supplementary Reading List
  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
  2. Bailey, J. M., Vasey, P. L., Diamond, L. M., Breedlove, S. M., Vilain, E., & Epprecht, M. (2016). Sexual orientation, controversy, and science. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 17, 45-101.
  3. Blackless, M., Charuvastra, A., Derryck, A., Fausto-Sterling, A., Lauzanne, K., & Lee, E. (2000). How sexually dimorphic are we? Review and synthesis. American Journal of Human Biology, 12, 151-166.
  4. Chandra, A., Mosher, W. D., & Copen, C. (2011). Sexual behavior, sexual attraction, and sexual identity in the United States: Data From the 2006–2008 National Survey of Family Growth. National Health Statistics Report, 36, 1-35.
  5. Conron, J., Scott, G., Stowell, G. S., & Landers, S. (2012). Transgender health in Massachusetts: Results from a household probability sample of adults. American Journal of Public Health, 102, 118–122.
  6. Copen, C., Chandra, A., & Febo-Vazquez, I. (2016). Sexual behavior, sexual attraction, and sexual orientation among adults aged 18–44 in the United States: Data from the 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth. National Health Statistics Reports, 88, 1-13.
  7. Critelli, J. W., & Bivona, J. M. (2008). Women\’s erotic rape fantasies: An evaluation of theory and research. The Journal of Sex Research, 45, 57-70.
  8. De Gascun, C., Kelly, J., Salter, N., Lucey, J., & O’Shea, D. (2006). Gender identity disorder. Irish Medical Journal, 99, 146–148.
  9. Diamond, L. M. (2009). Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love and Desire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  10. Dulko, S., & Imielinskia, C. (2004). The epidemiology of transsexualism in Poland. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 56, 637.
  11. Durex (2005). 2005 Global Sex Survey results. Retrieved on March 22, 2017.
  12. Frankowski, B. L. (2004). Sexual orientation and adolescents. Pediatrics, 113, 1827–1832.
  13. Gates, G. (2011). How Many People are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender?
  14. Kellogg, J. H. (1888). Treatment for Self-Abuse and Its Effects. Plain Facts for Old and Young. Burlington, Iowa: F. Segner & Co.
  15. Kendler, K. S., Thornton, L. M., Gilman, S. E., & Kessler, R. C. (2000). Sexual orientation in a U.S. national sample of twin and nontwin sibling pairs. American Journal of Psychiatry, 157, 1843–1846.
  16. Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., & Martin, C. E. (1948). Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Philadelphia: Saunders.
  17. Levin, R. J. (2007). Sexual activity, health and well-being—The beneficial roles of coitus and masturbation. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 22, 135-148.
  18. Lucas, D. R., Hanich, Z., Gurian, A., Lee, S., & Sanchez, A. (2017). Measuring Sex, Gender, and Orientation on a True Continuum. Presented at the annual meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association in San Antonio, Texas.
  19. Malacad, B. L., & Hess, G. C. (2010). Oral sex: Behaviours and feelings of Canadian young women and implications for sex education. The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care, 15, 177-185.
  20. Malacane, M., & Beckmeyer, J. J. (2016). A review of parent-based barriers to parent–adolescent communication about sex and sexuality: Implications for sex and family educators. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 11, 27-40.
  21. Rosenberger, J. G., Reece, M., Schick, V., Herbenick, D., Novak, D. S., Van Der Pol, B., & Fortenberry, J. D. (2011). Sexual behaviors and situational characteristics of most recent male‐partnered sexual event among gay and bisexually identified men in the United States. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 8, 3040-3050.
  22. Winter, S. (2009). Transgender people in Asia and the Pacific: What does the research tell us? Presented to the Asia Pacific Transgender Network Development Conference, Bangkok, Thailand.
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