Youth of Ireland call for new curriculum on gender, sexuality and consent

The survey also called for an increase in gender neutral bathrooms and uniforms in schools

A new report has found that young Irish people want to see better education on gender, sexuality and consent in schools.

The survey took the views of almost 4,000 people aged 15 to 24.

It found that the young people of Ireland want to see an increase in gender neutral bathrooms in schools - and the introduction of hate crime legislation.

Launching the report this morning, the Minister for Children, Dr Katherine Zappone said the youth consultation “must lead to action,” with the Government aiming to use the findings to build the world’s first LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy.

The key recommendations included in the report were:

  • The introduction of education on gender, relationships, sexuality, consent, safe sex and mental health
  • That sex and gender education be delivered by trained teachers and external facilitators
  • The inclusion of gender theory and LGBTI+ history within the curriculum
  • An increase in gender-neutral toilets, uniforms and changing rooms
  • THe Simplification of the process of changing one’s name -  and a change in official forms to reflect different gender identities
  • The introduction and enforcement of clear hate crime legislation

The young people surveyed also called for diversity training for people working with children to promote better understanding and tolerance.

Minister Zappone said the results impact on almost every part of government, adding that she supports many of the recommendations:

She said Ireland’s journey toward full equality is well underway.

“But we are also aware that there are still members of our community who feel isolated, alone and unable to come out to family or friends,” she said.

“The findings today offer a wide range of positive steps which can be taken to ensure our communities will become places where all young people can grow up confident that they will be accepted, supported and loved.

“Through this consultation Our young people have spoken.

“I will be working to ensure their voices are listened to.”

She said the survey provides “a strong foundation on which we will build the world’s first LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy.”

“As Minister I am committing to delivering this report to every one of my colleagues and asking that each Department consider how it can respond,” she said.

In 2018 I look forward to launching our Youth Strategy.

“It will be an important moment. Ireland’s journey to full equality is continuing – there can be no going back.”

The 2016 Programme for Government made a commitment to the development of a National LGBT Youth Strategy.