Sexuality education is now an established component of the education curriculum and compulsory until year 10. At Tahuna Normal Intermediate School in 2009, teacher Yvonne Toa uses resources from the Sexuality Road programme, developed by the Family Planning Association, with a class of year-eight students. In the 2000s sexuality education focused not only on puberty, reproduction and contraception, but also on the dynamics of intimate relationships – such as falling in love, telling someone you are keen on them and breaking up. It also created some opportunities to talk about different forms of sexual orientation. The focus was on providing young people with information that would help them to make good decisions, rather than instructing them in what to do. The Youth'07 study of high-school students in 2007 found that 40% of year-nine students (13–14-year-olds) had 'spent a long time kissing or touching someone'.
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Otago Daily Times
Photograph by Craig Baxter
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