Focus groups with a wide variety of students and teachers in many different educational settings revealed some challenges. Young people felt there was a lack of respect from the opposite gender and verbal and physical abuse was common. Teachers agreed that a culture of disrespect was growing and raised concerns about sexual exploitation and grooming.
We developed The Boys’ Project to help small groups of boys consider the concept of manhood and their choices as they relate to character formation. We currently deliver the course in Southwark and it has been particularly useful for boys who have been excluded from mainstream school settings.
Similarly, The Girls’ Project was created to help small groups of girls reach their full potential and flourish into the young women they desire to be. Looking to help girls realize their self-worth and establish healthy boundaries, the course focuses on raising girls’ awareness of sexual grooming and exploitation.
Both Esteem projects are designed for small groups of up to 8 individuals at a time. The projects cover different topics, usually delivered in hourly sessions, online or in-person, to same-sex groups over 7-8 weeks.
Boys' Project - 6 sessions
Becoming a good man – explores whether rites of passage and the law are helpful in terms of understanding when a boy has become a man. Looks at the potential qualities and characteristics of a good man.
The “R” word – allows boys to consider what it means to respect others and what this looks like practically in their own lives. Highlights that respect is a choice and how important our choices are, in terms of responding to situations.
Let's talk about girls - challenges negative attitudes some men may have about women. Enables boys to identify and challenge wrong messages about women
in the media and to explore appropriate boundaries for boys when relating to girls.
Love v Lust – explores how different people give and receive love, the difference between love and lust, and the language of consent.
The media and your mind – encourages boys to critically analyse unrealistic, inaccurate, and negative portrayals of relationships and sex in the media, including pornography.
Safe or Sorry? – the final session covers penis hygiene and sexual health. Encourages boys is to take responsibility for themselves including checking for testicular cancer.
Girls' Project - 7 sessions
Standards of beauty – explores cultural and societal standards of beauty and how they can influence our self-esteem.
Media’s Mixed Messages (2 sessions) – explores the impact of social media as well as the subliminal messages portrayed in the media.
See me (2 sessions) - explores the topic of intimacy, healthy and unhealthy behaviours/boundaries in relationships, as well as the legal components for consent.
Safe and sound – raises awareness of sexual exploitation, as well as how to identify signs of abuse within a relationship, including reporting methods.
Under pressure – explores peer pressure and its impact on relationships and sex.