Anna Richardson and a team of experts visit various secondary schools in the UK in an attempt to educate teenagers about sex in relation to their consumption of pornography.
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Anna Richardson ...
 Herself - Presenter (11 episodes, 2008-2011)
Radha Modgil ...
 Herself / ... (8 episodes, 2010-2011)
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Anna Richardson and a team of experts visit various secondary schools in the UK in an attempt to educate teenagers about sex in relation to their consumption of pornography.

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9 September 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Asiaa seksistä  »

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Good for some people, but narrow minded enough to be useless for a good portion of its intended audience
17 August 2010 | by See all my reviews

First the good part: The Sex Education Show is not only entertaining, but frank and enlightening as well. For someone who is well out of school and still a virgin, I can safely say that it competes well with the school education on the subject as well as giving plenty of new information even if you're used to talk about more than the basics. Anna and her interviewees is possibly the best part, as they complete the bare facts with an open atmosphere and offers a chance to correct the twisted image that most people have of sex. This is really worth a watch for anyone, regardless of age or experience.

That said, the show becomes more conservative the more you look at it. While this may be a step up from the run of the mill sex education, it still follows the same pattern. I haven't watched all seasons, but the treatment of gay/bi sexuality so far is incredibly disappointing. There is a clear tendency to either ignore that it exists or when dealing with it at all, Anna is clearly talking to a presumed straight audience about gay/bi people – they don't exist in this immediate reality, in other words. Why is this important? Because this is 12% of our youths who don't learn how to practice safe sex! Especially for women, there is virtually no advice on the matter even when turning to the LGBT community (which we shouldn't have to). This earnest attempt at preventing STIs is therefore in this case practically useless. A major cause to this may be the gross simplification of sex as penetration, which will limit the viewer's perception of sex to perhaps not recognizing safer alternatives as fulfilling. It also contributes to excluding gay/bi viewers from the show, which becomes disturbingly clear when you've watched episode upon episode with extensive info on penetrative sex, only to have lesbian sex summed up as "oral sex, mutual masturbation and use of toys" in a throwaway Q&A.

The goal of making teenagers use their sexuality sensibly is probably further undermined by what I in a bad mood could call naiveté. For example, there's a hint of moral panic that surfaces from time to time and undermines the communication with the viewer. The aim seems to be abstinence for the kids, and porn is treated with outrage but there's never an explanation for it – the viewer is supposed to accept those views without understanding why. What's even worse a problem is the parent's role as the primary teacher for these things ("Ask a parent to be with you while looking at our site"). This is basically making the kids' education dependent on an open minded parent, which far from everyone has. If anything, the fail to pass compulsory sex education shows that dependency on goodwill is working more against than for the show's goal.

So will is it worth watching, then? My answer would be yes, it's worth a shot if only to build confidence in your own sexual life even if you're not straight (to a limited extent). Three things are worth bearing in mind, though. One, your sexuality is something that concerns you, an only you know when you are ready to know or do something, not your parents. Two, promiscuity and porn are not things to be seen in black and white. The show is bad at explaining it, so you'll have to look up the harmful and the good parts on your own, from balanced sources (that is, not Playboy). And finally, while Anna may be talking as if the whole audience is nothing but straight kids, you know better. Gay/bi viewers, this isn't meant for us, which for a show focused on sexuality is baffling, not natural. Straight viewers, you have to think for yourselves and realize that despite the show's instances of "spot the gay" and only intentionally showing LGBT people when their sexuality is the subject, the reality is that they aren't a different species from somewhere else. They grow into being who they are in your immediate reality as your classmates, siblings or neighbors, and it's pure chance that this isn't you watching a sex education meant for everyone and feeling like an extraterrestrial.


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