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Model behaviour : how peer educators can change sexuality education for the better Black, Stéphanie 2016

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	MODEL	BEHAVIOUR:		HOW	PEER	EDUCATORS	CAN	CHANGE	SEXUALITY	EDUCATION	FOR	THE	BETTER			by		Stéphanie	Black	BA,	University	of	Ottawa,	2007						 A	GRADUATING	PAPER	SUBMITTED	IN	PARTIAL	FULFILMENT		OF	THE	REQUIREMENTS	OF	THE	DEGREE	OF					MASTER	OF	EDUCATION		in		THE	FACULTY	OF	GRADUATE	STUDIES		EDUCATIONAL	STUDIES									THE	UNIVERSITY	OF	BRITISH	COLUMBIA		December,	2016						©Stéphanie	Black,	2016		 1	Table	of	Contents			 Introduction	........................................................................................................................................	2	Purpose	...............................................................................................................................................	4	Terminology	........................................................................................................................................	4	Literature	Review	................................................................................................................................	7	Methodology	....................................................................................................................................	15	Positionality	......................................................................................................................................	18	Historical	Context	of	Sexual	Health	Education	in	Canada	...............................................................	20	Peer	teachers	keep	sexuality	education	young,	cool,	and	personal	...............................................	27	Specific	training	matters	...................................................................................................................	31	Student-led	information	and	meaningful	pedagogy	........................................................................	36	Challenges	of	peer	sexuality	education	programs	...........................................................................	42	Conclusion	.........................................................................................................................................	45	Bibliography	......................................................................................................................................	49																							 2	“Models	who	possess	engaging	qualities	are	sought	out	while	those	lacking	pleasing	characteristics	are	generally	ignored	or	rejected”1			Introduction		 Sexual	health	education	has	long	been	a	contested	subject	within	Western	society,	and	within	schools.	Since	the	beginnings	of	institutionalized	sex	education	in	the	late	19th	century	and	early	20th	century,	the	topic	has	been	difficult	to	define	and	implement	due	to	its	delicate	nature,	and	societal	norms	around	what	should	be	taught,	where	it	should	be	taught,	and	who	should	teach	it.	Over	the	years,	many	different	kinds	of	educators	have	provided	this	kind	of	information	in	schools;	from	doctors	and	nurses,	to	counsellors,	private	organizations,	and	teachers.	Although	sexual	health	education	in	Canada,	the	United	States,	and	other	English-speaking,	industrialized	countries	has	come	a	long	way	since	the	turn	of	the	20th	century,	it	is	still	a	controversial	subject.	It	requires	constant	reinvention,	improvement,	and	novel	pedagogy	to	keep	up	with	sexual	messages	in	the	media,	on	the	internet,	in	books,	pornography,	magazines,	and	the	school	yard.		One	of	the	more	recent	methods	of	teaching	students	about	sex	and	relationships	especially	since	the	1980s2,	is	the	use	of	peer	sexual	health	educators	in	schools,	as	opposed	to	the	use	of	other	adult	educators.	In	the	context	of	sexual	health	education	for	teens,	a	peer	educator	is	someone	who	is	trained	by	professional	sexuality	educators	or	health	                                                1	Albert	Bandura,	Social	Learning	Theory,	(Englewood	Cliffs,	N.J:	Prentice	Hall,	1977),	22.	2	Steve	Parkin	and	Neil	McKeganey,	"The	Rise	and	Rise	of	Peer	Education	Approaches,"	Drugs:	Education,	Prevention	&	Policy	7,	no.	3	(2000):	293.		 3	professionals3,	instructs	students	on	sexual	health	topics,	and	is	relatively	close	in	age	to	the	students	they	educate.	However,	there	are	many	kinds	of	peer	educators.	Some	are	students	who	lead	extra-curricular	activities	and	discussions	within	their	schools.	Others	are	young	people	giving	presentations	and	counsel	within	sexual	health	clinics,	and	some	are	youth	who	provide	sexuality	education	within	the	classroom	just	as	an	instructor	would.	In	the	literature	surveyed	for	this	project,	most	peer	educators	were	defined	as	being	between	the	ages	of	16	and	35,	with	varying	parameters	for	peer	educator	ages	within	each	separate	study.4	In	this	paper,	I	will	discuss	how	peer	sexual	health	educators	have	proven	to	be	effective	in	conveying	sexual	health	information	in	ways	that	set	them	apart	from	traditional	sexual	health	educators.	Specifically,	I	argue	that	peer	educators	can	be	more	effective	than	traditional	sexuality	educators	through	their	ability	to	relate	to	teens	on	a	personal	level,	through	specific	training	as	peer	sexual	health	educators,	and	by	using	student-led	instruction	and	meaningful	pedagogy	in	sexuality	education.	Following	these	arguments,	I	will	also	discuss	the	challenges	of	peer	sexuality	education.	I	became	interested	in	the	use	of	peer	educators	whilst	volunteering	with	Saleema	Noon	Sexual	Health	Educators.	This	private	organization	provides	sexual	health	education	workshops	to	elementary	school	students.	One	of	their	educators	is	a	male	in	his	late	20s	or	early	30s,	who	                                                3	Simon	Forrest	et	al.,	"What	do	Young	People	Want	from	Sex	Education?	The	Results	of	a	Needs	Assessment	from	a	Peer-Led	Sex	Education	Programme,"	Culture,	Health	&	Sexuality	6,	no.	4	(2004):	338;	Jacqueline	B.	Cupples	et	al.,	"Reaching	Young	Men:	Lessons	Learned	in	the	Recruitment,	Training,	and	Utilization	of	Male	Peer	Sexual	Health	Educators,"	Health	Promotion	Practice	11,	no.	3	(2010):	20S;	Denise	Jaworsky	et	al.,	"Evaluating	Youth	Sexual	Health	Peer	Education	Programs:	"Challenges	and	Suggestions	for	Effective	Evaluation	Practices"."	Journal	of	Education	and	Training	Studies	1,	no.	1	(2013):	288.	4	Cupples	et	al.,	"Reaching	Young	Men,”	20S;	Jaworsky	et	al.,	"Evaluating	Youth	Sexual	Health	Peer	Education	Programs,”288;	Terence	H.	Hull	et	al.,	“‘Peer’	Educator	Initiatives	for	Adolescent	Reproductive	Health	Projects	in	Indonesia,"	Reproductive	Health	Matters	12,	no.	23	(2004):	31;	Douglas	Kirby,	et	al.,	"Sex	and	HIV	Education	Programs:	Their	Impact	on	Sexual	Behaviors	of	Young	People	Throughout	the	World,"	Journal	of	Adolescent	Health	40,	no.	3	(2007):	207.		 4	seems	to	connect	really	well	with	the	young	boys	(aged	9-12)	to	whom	he	delivers	workshops	in	which	he	challenges	gender	normativity	and	traditional	masculinity	as	well	as	bullying.	This	made	me	wonder	why	other	sexual	health	organizations,	on	the	whole,	lack	male	educators,	and	what	the	impact	on	young	boys	or	teens	could	be.	Another	reason	I	began	investigating	peer	educators	was	that	a	colleague	mentioned	that	some	organizations	use	older	female	teenage	students	to	peer	educate	younger	girls	in	schools.	I	wondered	how	this	might	work,	and	how	these	peer	educators’	experiences	could	benefit	the	students	with	whom	they	interacted.	This	is	also	where	I	developed	the	idea	for	the	purpose	of	my	paper.	Purpose		The	purpose	of	this	paper	is	to	outline	the	benefits	of	peer	education	to	sexual	health	educators	wishing	to	expand	their	practice	to	include	peer	educators.	I	hope	that	it	will	give	them	a	comprehensive	understanding	of	the	benefits	and	drawbacks	of	peer	education,	and	ways	in	which	to	use	it	most	effectively.	The	research	questions	guiding	my	inquiry	into	the	published	literature	in	this	area	were:		1. Who	creates	more	positive	behavioural	change	in	students	who	have	participated	in	sexuality	education	workshops?	Is	it	regular	sexuality	education	teachers	or	peer	sexual	health	educators?	2. Why	is	peer	education	not	more	widely	used?	3. What	are	the	benefits	and	drawbacks	of	peer	sexuality	education?		Terminology	Before	delving	into	the	specifics	of	peer	education,	it	is	important	to	first	differentiate	between	formal	and	informal	peer-led	education.	For	the	purposes	of	this	study,	I	will	be	looking	at	formal	peer	education	only,	as	defined	by	Walker	and	Avis	(1999).	They	explain		 5	formal	peer	education	as	“projects	which	are	structured,	include	selection	criteria,	provide	intensive	training,	usually	supervision	and	sometimes	quality	criteria.	The	end	product	is	usually	to	provide	training	sessions	to	young	people	and	this	method	is	almost	but	not	exclusively	used	in	the	school	setting.”5	This	kind	of	education	can	also	be	called	“curriculum-based”	peer	sexuality	education.6	It	is	important	to	note	that	peer	educators	are	not	only	used	for	sexuality	education,	but	are	often	called	upon	to	implement	programs	seeking	to	reduce	teenage	smoking,	drinking,	and	drug	use,	and	to	counter	homophobia	and	transphobia	in	schools.7	For	this	paper,	I	focused	on	sexuality	education-based	peer	education	programs,	though	other	health-related	programs	were	sometimes	mentioned	in	the	articles	as	well.		I	chose	to	use	the	term	“sexuality	education”	to	denote	the	kind	of	education	done	by	peer	educators.	I	also	used	the	term	“sexual	health	educator”	or	“sexuality	educator”	to	identify	someone	who	teaches	sexuality	education,	because	the	concept	of	sexual	health	education	or	sexuality	education	seems	to	be	more	encompassing	than	the	term	“sex	education.”	This	is	because	using	the	term	“sex	education”	can	be	limiting.	As	Allen	notes:	“sex	education	equates	young	people’s	sexual	health	with	the	absence	of	sexually	transmitted	infections	and	the	avoidance	of	unintended	pregnancies.”8	Though	it	is	important	to	cover	physical	aspects	of	sexuality,	emotional	aspects,	pleasure,	forming	healthy	relationships,	and	                                                5	Sali	Ann	Walker	and	Melanie	Avis,	"Common	Reasons	Why	Peer	Education	Fails,"	Journal	of	Adolescence	22,	no.	4	(1999):	574.	6	Kirby,	et	al.,	"Sex	and	HIV	Education	Programs,”	206.		7	MacIntosh,	Lori	B.,	"The	Failure	of	Antihomophobia	Education:	Embracing	the	Hope	of	an	Impossible	Future,”	(PHD	thesis,	University	of	British	Columbia,	2013),	125-126;	Steve	Parkin	and	Neil	McKeganey,	"The	Rise	and	Rise	of	Peer	Education	Approaches,"	Drugs:	Education,	Prevention	&	Policy	7,	no.	3	(2000):	292-294;	Michael	Shiner,	"Defining	Peer	Education,"	Journal	of	Adolescence	22,	no.	4	(1999):	555.	8	Louisa	Allen,	"Beyond	the	Birds	and	the	Bees:	Constituting	a	Discourse	of	Erotics	in	Sexuality	Education,"	Gender	and	Education	16,	no.	2	(2004):	151.			 6	the	inclusion	of	diverse	sexual	identities	and	preferences	are	equally	as	important.	The	inclusion	of	these	aspects	of	sexuality	are	historically	absent	from	sexual	education.	In	fact,	Allen	explains	the	following:	It	can	be	said	that	while	the	desires	of	young	(hetero)sexuals,	especially	young	women,	have	been	missing	from	sexuality	education,	any	acknowledgement	of	the	mere	existence	of	lesbian,	gay,	bisexual,	transgender	and	intersex	(LGBTI)	identities	are	a	gaping	omission	in	many	programmes.	In	those	instances	when	homosexuality	 does	 surface,	 it	 is	 often	 associated	 with	 gay	 men	 and	 the	dangers	of	contracting	HIV.	Burgeoning	empirical	evidence	indicates	that	sex	education	 has	 traditionally	 ignored	 young	 LGBTI’s	 needs	 for	 knowledge	 and	affirmation	of	their	sexual	identities,	to	considerable	detriment	for	some.”9	Therefore,	since	peer	sexuality	education	is	a	more	contemporary	approach,	and	because	it	is	generally	more	inclusive	of	these	topics,	the	term	“sexuality	education”	is	especially	relevant	with	regards	to	peer	sexuality	education.	As	is	detailed	in	the	paper	to	follow,	due	to	the	very	nature	of	peer	education,	peers	can	use	different	approaches	and	cover	topics	on	sex	and	sexuality	that	regular	teachers	may	have	avoided	in	the	past.	Throughout	this	paper	I	discuss	the	various	effective	methods	of	sexual	health	education.	It	is	therefore	necessary	to	define	what	“effective”	means	within	work.	In	this	context,	effective	sexuality	education	leads	to	positive	behavioural	changes	in	students	with	regard	to	their	sexual	health	practices.	I	use	the	term	“effective”	in	such	a	way	that	it	can	have	many	meanings,	but	that	it	always	revolves	around	changes	in	student	behaviour	with	regards	to	safer	sexual	practices,	and	students	having	more	sexual	health	information	than	they	did	before.	                                                9	Allen,	“Beyond	the	Birds	and	the	Bees,”	154.		 7	Literature	Review	In	the	literature	surveyed	on	U.S.,	British,	and	Canadian	studies,	the	main	goals	of	sexuality	education,	are	to	reduce	teen	pregnancy	and	HIV	rates,	increase	condom	use,	delay	first	sexual	intercourse,	and	empower	students	to	make	informed	decisions	about	their	sexual	health.10	The	U.S.	studies	often	focused	on	abstinence,	delaying	sexual	intercourse,	and	STI	prevention,	whereas	while	Canadian	and	British	studies	also	included	these	aspects,	they	were	more	likely	to	include	relationship-building,	pleasure,	and	healthy	relationships	in	sexuality	education	as	well.11	Aside	from	examining	what	is	taught	in	sexuality	education,	the	improvement	of	teaching	techniques	seems	to	be	an	objective	of	many	studies	in	peer	sexual	health	education,	as	well	as	evaluating	how	effective	peer	teachers	are	in	relaying	the	material,	in	contrast	to	regular	teachers.12	In	order	to	measure	the	effectiveness	of	this	kind	of	education,	most	studies	on	peer	sexuality	educators	steep	their	theories	in	behavioural	psychology.	The	most	common	theory	cited	is	Albert	Bandura’s	Social	Learning	Theory.	Bandura	created	the	concept	and	stipulated	                                                10	Kirby,	et	al.,	"Sex	and	HIV	Education	Programs,”	208;	Stephenson,	et	al,	"Pupil-Led	Sex	Education,”	338-339;	Judi	Kidger,	'You	realise	it	could	happen	to	you':	the	benefits	to	pupils	of	young	mothers	delivering	school	sex	education,”	Sex	Education	4	(2)	(2004):	185-186;	David	L.	Evans	and	John	Tripp,	"Sex	Education:	The	Case	for	Primary	Prevention	and	Peer	Education,"	Current	Paediatrics	16,	no.	2	(2006):	95;	Grace	Spencer	et	al.,	"What	does	'Empowerment'	Mean	in	School-Based	Sex	and	Relationships	Education?"	Sex	Education	8,	no.	3	(2008):	346;	Parkin	and	McKeganey,	"The	Rise	and	Rise	of	Peer	Education	Approaches,"	302;	Jacqueline	N.	Cohen	et	al.,	"Sexual	Health	Education:	Attitudes,	Knowledge,	and	Comfort	of	Teachers	in	New	Brunswick	Schools,"	The	Canadian	Journal	of	Human	Sexuality	13,	no.	1	(2004):	4-5;	Carolyn	Layzer	et	al.,	"A	Peer	Education	Program:	Delivering	Highly	Reliable	Sexual	Health	Promotion	Messages	in	Schools."	Journal	of	Adolescent	Health	54,	no.	3	(2014):	S76.		11	Cohen	et	al.,	"Sexual	Health	Education,"	4-5;	Kirby	et	al.,	“Effective	Approaches	to	Reducing	Adolescent	Unprotected	Sex,	Pregnancy,	and	Childbearing,"	Journal	of	Sex	Research	39,	no.	1	(2002):	19-20;	Stephenson,	J.	M.,	et	al.,	"A	School-Based	Randomized	Controlled	Trial	of	Peer-Led	Sex	Education	in	England."	Controlled	Clinical	Trials	24,	no.	5	(10,	2003):	645.	12	Kirby,	et	al.,	“Effective	Approaches	to	Reducing	Adolescent	Unprotected	Sex,”	52;	Stephenson,	et	al,	“Pupil-Led	Sex	Education,”	338;	Stephenson,	J.	M.,	et	al.,	"A	School-Based	Randomized	Controlled	Trial,”	645;	Douglas	Kirby,	"Effective	Approaches	to	Reducing	Adolescent	Unprotected	Sex,”	53;	Parkin	and	McKeganey	"The	Rise	and	Rise	of	Peer	Education	Approaches,”	300;	Donald	Langille	et	al.,	"So	Many	Bricks	in	the	Wall:	Young	Women	in	Nova	Scotia	Speak	about	Barriers	to	School-Based	Sexual	Health	Education,"	Sex	Education	1,	no.	3	(2010):	249-250.		 8	that	most	human	behaviour	is	learned	through	others.	He	wrote	that:		[M]ost	 human	 behavior	 is	 learned	 observationally	 through	 modeling:	 from	observing	others	one	forms	an	idea	of	how	new	behaviors	are	performed,	and	on	later	occasions	this	coded	information	serves	as	a	guide	for	action.	Because	people	can	learn	from	example	what	to	do,	at	least	in	approximate	form,	before	performing	any	behavior,	they	are	spared	needless	errors.13		As	teens	spend	much	of	their	time	with	their	friends,	learning	behaviour	and	acquiring	knowledge	from	one	another,	there	is	an	important	connection	between	peer	education	and	social	learning	theory.	Grounding	peer	learning	in	social	learning	theory	helps	us	understand	how	teaching	positive	behaviours	through	educators	who	are	close	in	age	to	the	students	can	be	beneficial.	However,	one	could	make	the	case	that	human	behaviour	can	be	learned	from	other	humans,	regardless	of	their	proximity	in	age	to	the	student.	Yet	when	we	look	at	how	Bandura	further	describes	social	learning	theory	with	regards	to	peers,	we	get	an	even	deeper	understanding	of	how	teenagers	can	learn	important	information	well	from	their	peers.	He	writes:		Within	 any	 social	 group	 some	 individuals	 are	 likely	 to	 command	 greater	attention	than	others.	Modeled	conduct	varies	in	effectiveness.	The	functional	value	 of	 the	 behaviors	 displayed	 by	 different	 models	 is	 therefore	 highly	influential	in	determining	which	models	people	will	observe	and	which	they	will	disregard.	 Attention	 to	 models	 is	 also	 channeled	 by	 their	 interpersonal	attraction.	Models	who	possess	engaging	qualities	are	sought	out	while	those	lacking	pleasing	characteristics	are	generally	ignored	or	rejected.14		                                                13 Albert	Bandura,	Social	Learning	Theory,	(Englewood	Cliffs,	N.J:	Prentice	Hall,	1977),	22.	14	Ibid.,	24		 9	If	we	assume	that	students	will	more	often	choose	someone	closer	to	their	own	age	as	someone	who	possesses,	in	Bandura’s	words,	“engaging	qualities,”	and	that	peers	“command	greater	attention	than	others”,	then	we	begin	to	see	how	social	learning	theory	and	peer	education	are	inextricably	linked.	The	effectiveness	of	peer	education	really	revolves	around	whether	the	behaviour	modeled	by	the	educators	is	replicated	by	the	students	after	they	have	received	sexuality	education.	As	a	Canadian	example	of	the	importance	of	behavioural	psychology	in	this	field,	the	Public	Health	Agency	of	Canada	(2008)	outlines	four	theoretical	models	that	have	“provided	the	basis	for	behaviourally	effective	sexual	health	education	programs.”15	These	are:	Social	Cognitive	Theory,	the	Transtheoretical	Model,	the	Theory	of	Reasoned	Action	&	Theory	of	Planned	Behaviour	Model,	and	the	Information,	Motivation	and	Behavioural	Skills	Model.16	An	article	in	the	Journal	of	Adolescent	Health	that	looked	at	83	peer	sexuality	education	programs	across	the	world	echoes	the	importance	of	these	and	related	theories	in	this	field.	Kirby	et	al.,	(2007)	explain	that:		More	than	four	fifths	of	the	programs	(83%)	 identified	one	or	more	theories	that	 formed	 the	 basis	 for	 their	 programs,	 and	 often	 specified	 particular	psychosocial	mediating	 factors	 to	be	 changed.	 Social	 learning	 theory	and	 its	sequel,	social	cognitive	theory,	formed	the	basis	for	more	than	half	(54%)	of	the	interventions.	Related	theories	identifying	some	of	the	same	mediating	factors	were	mentioned	by	 substantial	 percentages	 of	 other	 studies:	 theory	 of	 rea-	soned	 action	 (19%);	 health	 belief	model	 (12%);	 theory	 of	 planned	 behavior	(10%);	and	the	information,	motivation,	and	behavioral	skills	model	(10%).17	                                                15	“Canadian	Guidelines	for	Sex	Education,”	Last	modified	October	1,	2008,	http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/cgshe-ldnemss/theory-eng.php.	16	Ibid.		17	Kirby	et	al.,	“Sex	and	HIV	Education	Programs,”	208.		 10	Because	these	studies	seek	to	ascertain	whether	peer	education	can	create	a	change	in	the	behaviour	of	teens,	many	studies	employ	the	use	of	psychosocial	methods	to	discover	why	peer	educators	are	effective	in	teaching	teens	about	sex,	yet	identifying	simply	one	theory	through	which	to	examine	peer	sexuality	has	proven	to	be	difficult.18	Turner	and	Shepherd	(1999)	discuss	the	fact	that	most	peer	education	studies	are	not	grounded	in	any	one	particular	theory,	and	that	many	theories	do	not	apply	to	peer	education	and	health	promotion.	They	do	say	that	the	most	relevant	theory	in	which	to	base	peer	education	in	a	health	promotion	context	is	Social	Learning	Theory.19	In	searching	through	mainstream,	peer-reviewed	journals,	I	found	that	Social	Learning	Theory	and	Tajfel	and	Turner’s	Social	Identity	Theory	often	led	the	theoretical	frameworks	of	studies	on	peer	sex	education.20		However,	not	all	studies	explicitly	use	these	theoretical	models	to	frame	their	investigations.	A	number	of	studies	employed	the	language	of	Social	Learning	Theory,	but	did	not	name	it	as	their	theoretical	framework,	nor	did	they	name	any	framework	at	all.	However,	it	was	evident	that	they	were	employing	psychosocial	and	behavioural	methods	through	their	use	of	social,	behavioural,	and	psychologically	inclined	language.	They	used	words	like	“shared	social	status,”	“youth	culture,”	or	“truth	value.”21	Using	statements	from	students	expressing	“that	their	status	as	peers	–	a	status	built	on	shared	identities	–	was	among	their	most	valuable	                                                18	Evans	and	Tripp,	"Sex	Education:	The	Case	for	Primary	Prevention,"	97;	G.	Turner	and	J.	Shepherd,	"A	Method	in	Search	of	a	Theory:	Peer	Education	and	Health	Promotion,"	Health	Education	Research	14,	no.	2	(1999):	no	page;	Sarah	C.	Beshers,	"Where	are	the	Guys	in	Peer	Education?	A	Survey	of	Peer	Education	Programs	Related	to	Adolescent	Sexual	Health	in	New	York	State,"	American	Journal	of	Sexuality	Education	3,	no.	3	(2008):	279.	19	Turner	and	Shepherd,	"A	Method	in	Search	of	a	Theory,"	no	page.	20	Sarah	Beshers,	"Where	are	the	Guys?,”	279;	Evans	&	Tripp,	“The	Case	for	Primary	Prevention,”	97;	Cupples	et	al.,	"Reaching	Young	Men,”	19S;	Stephenson	et	al.,	"A	School-Based	Randomized	Controlled	Trial,”	645;	Layzer	et	al.,	"A	Peer	Education	Program,”	S72.	21	Parkin	and	McKeganey	"The	Rise	and	Rise	of	Peer	Education	Approaches,”295;	Kidger,	“'You	realise	it	could	happen	to	you',”	192;	Louisa	Allen,	"‘It's	Not	Who	they	are	it's	what	they	are	Like’:	Re-conceptualising	Sexuality	Education's	‘best	Educator’	Debate,"	Sex	Education	9,	no.	1	(2009):	45.		 11	resources	as	educators,”	also	demonstrate	these	implied	theories.22	Parkin	and	McKeganey	attempt	to	define	peer	education	in	their	2009	study,	and	employ	similar	psychosocial-based	language.	They	say	that	it	focuses	on	education	from	people	who	share	a	social	group	or	status,	and	that	the	“notion	of	shared	social	status,	whether	relating	to	age,	ethnicity,	gender,	cultural	or	sub-cultural	membership,	has	been	documented	as	integral	to	the	application	of	any	peer	education	project.”23	The	methods	employed	in	most	peer-led	studies	are	overwhelmingly	qualitative,	with	some	studies	using	both	qualitative	and	quantitative	methods.	This	is	likely	because	the	information	they	are	studying	surrounds	personal	impressions	of	sexual	health	education	quality	and	its	impact.	The	most	widely	used	methods	were	surveys,24	focus	groups,	informal	discussions,	and	interviews.25	With	regards	to	the	results	of	the	studies	surveyed	for	this	paper,	most	indicated	that	although	students	reported	more	comfort,	credibility,	affinity,	trust,	and	generally	more	satisfaction	with	peer	sexuality	educators,26	it	is	difficult	to	come	to	significant	conclusions	                                                22	Fields	and	Copp,	"Striving	for	Empathy,"	191.		23	Parkin	and	McKeganey	"The	Rise	and	Rise	of	Peer	Education	Approaches,”	295.	24	Beshers,	"Where	are	the	Guys?,”284;	Stephenson,	et	al,	“Pupil-Led	Sex	Education,”	340;	Stephenson	et	al.,	"A	School-Based	Randomized	Controlled	Trial,"	650;	Cupples	et	al.,	“Reaching	Young	Men,”22S.		25	Fields	and	Copp,	"Striving	for	Empathy,”	190;	Kidger,	“'You	realise	it	could	happen	to	you,'”	188;	Jaworsky	et	al.,	"Evaluating	Youth	Sexual	Health	Peer	Education	Programs,”231;	Layzer	et	al.,	"A	Peer	Education	Program,”	S73;	Caron,	et	al.,	"Evaluation	of	a	Theoretically	Based	AIDS/STD	Peer	Education	Program	on	Postponing	Sexual	Intercourse	and	on	Condom	use	among	Adolescents	Attending	High	School,”	Health	Education	Research	19,	no.	2	(2004):	188;	Langille	et.	al.,	“So	Many	Bricks	in	the	Wall,”	249;	Simon	Forrest	et	al.,	"What	do	Young	People	Want	from	Sex	Education?	The	Results	of	a	Needs	Assessment	from	a	Peer-Led	Sex	Education	Programme,"	Culture,	Health	&	Sexuality	6,	no.	4	(2004):	339.	26	Fields	and	Copp,	"Striving	for	Empathy,”	190;	Kidger,	“'You	realise	it	could	happen	to	you,'”	193;	Cupples	et	al.,	“Reaching	Young	Men,”22S;	Stephenson,	et	al,	“Pupil-Led	Sex	Education,”	338.		 12	about	the	success	of	peer	education	methodologies	and	their	overall	effects.27	Results	were	generally	positive	with	regards	to	the	behavioural	change	incited	by	peer-led	education.	However,	many	researchers	tempered	the	enthusiasm	of	their	readers	by	indicating	that	there	is	a	shortage	of	replicable	and	well-designed	studies	on	the	effectiveness	of	peer	education	programs,	or	studies	that	show	significant	variance	in	efficiency	between	peer-led	sexuality	and	regular	teacher-led	sex	education,	as	well	as	differences	in	student	preferences	of	teacher-led	vs.	peer-led	sexuality	education.28	Another	major	theme	in	study	results	was	that	many	studies	examined	the	effect	that	being	a	peer	educator	had	on	the	peer	educators	themselves.	Studies	determined	that	benefits	to	the	peer	educators	were	significant,	like	practicing	safer	sex	themselves,	more	fulfillment	in	relationships,	and,	more	generally,	an	improvement	of	their	presentation	and	communication	skills.29	During	my	initial	research,	I	had	not	considered	the	effect	that	learning	to	be	a	sexual	health	educator	would	have	on	the	educator	themselves.	It	follows,	however,	that	students	teaching	the	material	would	be	interested	in	practicing	the	safe	sex	behaviors	that	they	are	explaining	in	their	workshops.	One	study	even	discussed	what	kind	of	students	most	often	choose	to	be	peer	educators,	which	could	partly	explain	why	being	a	peer	educator	affects	the	peer	educators	positively	as	well.	Fields	and	Copp	explain	that	“peer	sexuality	educators	often	belong	to	groups	that	adults	conventionally	admire	–	students	with	high	grades,	who	are	                                                27	Debbie	Morgan	et	al.,	"Celebrating	the	Achievements	of	Sex	and	Relationship	Peer	Educators:	The	Development	of	an	Assessment	Process,"	Sex	Education	4,	no.	2	(2004):	181;	Beshers,	"Where	are	the	Guys?,”	279;	Jaworsky	et	al.,	"Evaluating	Youth	Sexual	Health	Peer	Education	Programs,”227.		28	Caron,	et	al.,	"Evaluation	of	a	Theoretically	Based	AIDS/STD	Peer	Education,”	195;	Allen,	“‘It's	not	who	they	are	it's	what	they	are	like’,”	45;	Stephenson,	et	al,	“Pupil-Led	Sex	Education,”	338.		29	Caron,	et	al.,	"Evaluation	of	a	Theoretically	Based	AIDS/STD	Peer	Education,”	195-196;	Parkin	and	McKeganey	"The	Rise	and	Rise	of	Peer	Education	Approaches,”	302;	Jaworsky	et	al.,	"Evaluating	Youth	Sexual	Health	Peer	Education	Programs,”	230-231;	Beshers,	"Where	are	the	Guys?,”	280.		 13	sexually	abstinent,	who	regret	a	decision	to	parent	or	who	strike	adults	as	mature	and	articulate.”30	Because	students	who	elect	to	be	peer	educators	already	have	an	inclination	towards	peer	education	or	are	interested	in	being	sexually	responsible	or	abstinent,	the	information	they	gain	could	reinforce	their	pre-training	behaviours	as	well.		Although	peer	sexuality	education	is	commonly	studied,	there	are	a	few	gaps	to	mention	with	regard	to	this	pedagogical	approach.	For	instance,	most	peer	education	is	carried	out	by	female	peers.31	The	literature	therefore	reflects	a	sample	mostly	made	of	studies	in	which	the	majority	of	peer	educators	were	female,	yet	often	there	was	a	small	proportion	of	those	educators	who	were	male.	Based	on	my	preliminary	assessment	of	the	literature,	male	peer	sexuality	educators	appear	to	be	an	understudied	group.	Specifically,	we	know	relatively	little	about	the	effects	that	they	can	have	on	student	behaviour	and	attitudes,	especially	with	regard	to	relaying	feminist	sexuality	education	to	boys.	Male	peer	sexuality	educators	might	have	a	greater	effect	on	boys,	in	teaching	explicitly	feminist	ideals	like	equality,	sexual	agency,	stereotyping	and	discrimination	by	modelling	feminist	behaviour	themselves.	Some	studies	do	mention	the	impact	that	male	peer	educators	can	have	on	adult	sexual	health	like	in	niche	groups	such	as	adult	men,	minorities,	incarcerated	adults,	and	homosexual	men.32		There	is,	therefore,	a	need	for	further	investigation	into	the	use	of	male	peer	educators	with	teen	boys,	and	why	young	males	are	less	inclined	to	be	peer	sexuality	educators	than	females.	Beshers	describes	the	difficulty	this	presents,	by	stating	that	“it	is	unclear	why	so	many	                                                30	Jessica	Fields	and	Martha	Copp,	"Striving	for	Empathy:	Affinities,	Alliances	and	Peer	Sexuality	Educators,"	Sex	Education	15,	no.	2	(2015):	189.	31	Jaworsky	et	al.,	"Evaluating	Youth	Sexual	Health	Peer	Education	Programs,”	229;	Beshers,	"Where	are	the	Guys?,”	281.	32	Cupples	et	al.,	“Reaching	Young	Men,”	20S.			 14	programs	would	have	fewer	male	peer	educators	than	female	peer	educators.”33	She	offers	the	possibility	that	this	could	be	explained	by	a	lack	of	compensation	for	peer	educators.	She	also	says	that	their	lack	of	participation	in	peer	education	reflects	their	general	lack	of	participation	in	other	aspects	of	life:		Lower	 rates	 of	 adolescent	 and	 young	 adult	 male	 participation	 in	 peer	education	programs	are	related	to	their	lower	rates	of	both	participating	in	school	 extracurricular	 activities	 (excluding	 sports)	 and	 volunteering	 for	community	service	programs	in	general.	If	low	levels	of	male	participation	are	indeed	typical	of	peer	education	programs	related	to	adolescent	sexual	and	reproductive	health,	and	if	this	pattern	is	due	to	the	volunteer	status	of	the	peer	educators,	then	it	would	be	reasonable	to	expect	that	those	peer	education	programs	which	provide	a	financial	stipend	to	the	peer	educators	would	have	higher	levels	of	male	participation	than	those	which	do	not.34		So,	not	only	is	an	investigation	needed	into	the	effects	that	youth	peer	educators	could	have	on	students,	but	it	would	be	important	to	find	out	why	male	peer	educators	participate	less	in	these	programs	than	do	their	female	counterparts.	Furthermore,	it	should	be	investigated	whether	there	is	a	greater	effect	on	students	if	males	teach	males	the	importance	of	equality	in	relationships,	as	well	as	consent,	agency,	and	the	biological	aspects	of	sexuality	education.	This	could	also	raise	the	question	of	the	effectiveness	of	using	LGBTQ	peer	educators	in	sexuality	education.			                                                33	Sarah	C.	Beshers,	"Where	are	the	Guys	in	Peer	Education?	A	Survey	of	Peer	Education	Programs	Related	to	Adolescent	Sexual	Health	in	New	York	State,"	American	Journal	of	Sexuality	Education	3,	no.	3	(2008):	281.	34	Ibid.		 15	Methodology	I	constrained	my	search	to	articles	about	Canadian,	American,	and	British	peer	education.	These	countries	share	many	educational	and	cultural	aspects,	and	a	comparison	would	be	strongest	between	these	three	nations	who	share	a	historical	past.	I	mostly	used	the	ERIC	database,	but	found	some	articles	in	Studies	on	Women	and	Gender	Abstracts,	the	Canadian	Business	and	Current	Affairs	Database,	Google	Scholar,	and	JStor.	I	briefly	checked	Women’s	Studies	International	and	Sociological	Abstracts	as	well.	An	interesting	technique	that	I	discovered	was	to	use	articles	from	the	“Science	Direct”	database	that	were	“Recommended”	to	me	because	of	the	articles	that	I	was	reading.	A	pop-up	window	would	surface,	and	three	articles	would	be	named.	Generally,	at	least	one	of	them	was	relevant	to	my	study,	and	I	found	this	very	helpful.	Every	time	I	navigated	away	from	the	Science	Direct	tab,	it	would	refresh,	and	when	I	would	go	back	to	it,	there	would	be	three	new	recommended	articles.	Below	is	a	screen	capture	from	my	own	computer	of	this	feature:				 16	Science	Direct	was	therefore	the	easiest	database	to	use,	and	it	provided	the	most	relevant	and	greatest	number	of	relevant	results.		I	also	used	the	regular	“Summon”	search	within	the	University	of	British	Columbia’s	library	system,	in	order	to	seek	more	general	articles.	I	did	not	look	for	books,	as	I	wanted	to	constrain	the	boundaries	of	my	search	to	the	most	current	articles,	since	I	was	looking	for	the	most	recent	developments	in	peer	education,	knowing	that	it	was	a	relatively	new	and	popular	technique.	I	also	spent	time	going	through	the	bibliographies	of	the	articles	I	had	selected	in	order	to	find	other,	relevant	articles.	Similarly,	I	checked	the	“cited”	sections	of	various	articles,	either	through	Google	Scholar	or	the	database	I	was	in	to	discover	newer,	more	current	articles	which	had	cited	the	articles	I	found	particularly	relevant.	Furthermore,	the	kinds	of	journals	from	which	I	chose	my	articles	were	mostly	sexuality	education-based,	with	the	greatest	number	of	them	coming	from	Sex	Education,	the	American	Journal	of	Sexuality	Education,	and	the	Canadian	Journal	of	Human	Sexuality.	Other	journals	used	were	related	to	health	in	general,	like	Health	Promotion	Practice,	Health	Education	Research,	and	the	Journal	of	Adolescent	Health.	The	rest	of	the	articles	I	found	were	in	education-related	or	sexuality-related	journals.35			The	timeframe	I	used	was	to	search	for	as	many	contemporary	articles	as	possible	published	after	2000,	but	I	had	to	dip	into	the	1990s	if	I	needed	to	reference	a	study	found	within	another	article.	My	rationale	for	choosing	to	research	post-2000	is	that	I	deduced	that	by	this	time,	peer	education	had	had	some	time	to	develop	and	to	be	studied,	whereas	articles	from	before	then	could	presumably	have	been	quite	speculative	and	inconclusive	in	nature.	                                                35	The	information	on	British	studies	came	from	international	journals.		 17	Many	of	the	articles	from	post-2000	did	use	data	that	they	had	acquired	from	studies	in	the	late	1990s	and	early	2000s,	however.	I	also	manipulated	the	date	range	in	CBCA	Complete	in	order	to	generate	the	most	recent	articles.			 I	used	the	term	“sex	education”	as	opposed	to	“sexuality	education”	for	my	searches,	because	“sex	education”	generated	more	articles.	The	search	terms	I	used	were:		• “peer	education”	• “peer	educator”	• “peer	education”	and	“benefits”	• “peer	education”	and	“failure”	• “peer	education”	and	“challenges”	• “peer	teaching”	and	“sex	education”		• “peer	educator”	and	“sex	education”		• “peer	education”	and	“sexual	health”	• peer	educ*	and	sex*	educ*	• peer	sex*	educ*	• “sexual	health	education”	and	peer	• “male	peer	educator”	• “male	peer	teacher”	• “male	peer	teacher”	and	“sex	education”	• “social	learning	theory”	and	“peer	education”	• “social	learning	theory”	and	“sex	education”	and	“male	peer”	• “social	learning	theory”	and	“sex	education”		The	most	generative	search	terms	were	“peer	education”	and	“sexual	health.”	It	was	a	challenging	process	to	get	just	the	right	combination	of	words,	as	without	them,	I	most	often	found	articles	relating	to	domestic	abuse,	or	sex	workers.	Using	the	quotation	marks	was	key,	but	it	could	also	become	restrictive,	very	fast.	For	example,	the	terms	“peer	sexual	health	education”	generated	no	results	in	the	Sociological	Abstracts	and	Women’s	Studies	International	databases,	and	only	three	results	in	ERIC.	These	three	results	were,	however,	extremely	relevant.	There	are	many	terms	that	can	be	used	to	describe	peer	education,	so	it	was	important	to	figure	out	which	databases	used	which	kind	of	terms.	For	instance,	some	databases	use	the	term	“peer	teaching,”	others	used	“peer-to-peer,”	and	others	yet	used	“peer	educators.”	Also	notable	is	the	fact	that	there	are	many	articles	on	peer	education	in	general,		 18	but	when	I	added	the	words	“sexual	education”	or	“sex	education,”	the	results	became	much	more	focused	and	few.		Positionality	When	researching	the	literature	on	peer	educators,	I	used	a	liberal	feminist	lens.	I	consider	myself	to	hold	liberal	feminist	views,	which	may	have	had	an	impact	on	the	articles	that	I	chose	to	examine.	To	explain	liberal	feminism	in	education,	I	will	use	Acker’s	(1987)	definition.	She	describes	liberal	feminism’s	main	goal	as	“securing	equal	opportunities	for	the	sexes,”	and,	more	specifically,	that	“the	intent	of	liberal	feminists	in	education	is	to	remove	barriers	which	prevent	girls	reaching	their	full	potential,	whether	such	barriers	are	located	in	the	school,	the	individual	psyche	or	discriminatory	labour	practices.”36	While	being	aware	of	my	own	lens,	I	deduced	that	many	studies	were	also	using	this	lens,	as	much	of	the	language	around	the	purposes	of	peer-led	sexual	health	education,	or	even	sexuality	education	in	general	used	words	like	“informed	choice,”	“equitable,”	and	“empowerment,”	as	well	as	discussing	consent37,	which,	I	argue,	are	terms	often	associated	with	feminist	discourse	around	sexuality	and	sex	education.			 Paula	McAvoy	discusses	commonly-held	liberal	views	about	comprehensive	sexuality	education,	consent,	and	informed	choice-making.	She	quotes	David	Archard	and	says:	“Consent	giving	is	central	to	this	view	because	in	a	liberal	society	‘whatever	is	consented	to	by	those	                                                36	Sandra	Acker,	"Feminist	Theory	and	the	Study	of	Gender	and	Education,"	International	Review	of	Education	/	Internationale	Zeitschrift	Für	Erziehungswissenschaft	/	Revue	Internationale	De	l'Education	33,	no.	4	(1987):	423.	37	Jaworsky	et	al.,	"Evaluating	Youth	Sexual	Health	Peer	Education	Programs,”	230;	Kidger,	“'You	realise	it	could	happen	to	you',”187,	195;	Fields	and	Copp,	"Striving	for	Empathy,”	190,	199;	Forrest	et	al.,	"What	do	Young	People	want?”	337;	Spencer	et	al.,	"What	does	'Empowerment'	Mean?”	346,	347.		 19	capable	of	giving	their	consent	and	which	harms	no-one	else	is	morally	permissible’”38	She	further	explains	that	Archard	and	other	comprehensive	sexuality	education	advocates	hold	that	“information,	decision	making,	and	responsibility	positions	autonomous	choice	making	as	the	overarching	aim	of	sex	education.”39	While	it	cannot	be	denied	that	these	aims	are	important,	McAvoy	says	that	consent,	and	autonomous	and	informed	choice	making	are	not	enough	to	constitute	fully	effective	sexuality	education.		She	pushes	the	liberal	view	further,	and	asserts	that	because	of	gender	inequality,	choice	making	is	not	enough	to	define	sexual	conduct,	and	that	being	autonomous	in	sexual	choices	exacerbates	gender	inequality.	40	McAvoy	insists	that	inequality	between	genders	as	well	as	the	interdependence	involved	in	sexual	experiences	must	be	recognized	by	students.	She	says:	Rather	 than	 focusing	on	choice	making,	 sex	educators	ought	 to	 teach	young	people,	first,	to	recognize	themselves	as	sexual	beings	within	the	larger	social	context,	in	which	many	of	the	heterosexual	values	that	are	promoted	position	men	 and	women	 unequally.	 Second,	 they	 need	 to	 recognize	 that	 all	 sexual	experiences,	no	matter	how	brief,	are	moments	of	interdependence	and	thus	require	 those	 involved	 to	 understand	 their	 moral	 obligations	 to	 others,	including	above	all	concern	for	the	other’s	well-being.41	Although	McAvoy’s	notion	of	interdependence	is	aimed	at	the	unequal	power	dynamic	between	heterosexual	partners,	I	believe	that	it	is	just	as	applicable	to	all	sexualities,	as	it	promotes	mutuality,	an	understanding	of	the	other,	and	recognizes	that	sexual	activity	must	respect	all	parties	involved.	Therefore,	using	a	liberal	feminist	framework	in	sexuality	education,	in	conjunction	with	McAvoy’s	notion	of	mutuality,	makes	the	deconstruction	of	                                                38 David	Archard,	Sex	Education	(London:	Philosophy	of	Education	Society	of	Great	Britain,	2000),	37,	in	Paula	McAvoy,	"The	Aims	of	Sex	Education:	Demoting	Autonomy	and	Promoting	Mutuality,"	Educational	Theory	63,	no.	5	(2013):	485. 39	McAvoy,	“The	Aims	of	Sex	Education,”	486.	40	McAvoy,	“The	Aims	of	Sex	Education,”	487.		41	Ibid.,	492.		 20	gender	norms	and	equality	in	society	all	the	more	possible.		It	could	develop	in	students	“a	willingness	to	be	more	interconnected	and	attentive	to	their	moral	obligations	to	others	[;]	an	important	step	toward	healthier	sexual	behaviors.”42		Historical	Context	of	Sexual	Health	Education	in	Canada	Before	turning	to	themes	from	the	literature,	I	will	locate	my	inquiry	in	historical	and	social	context.	I	will	address	two	important	historical	periods	in	the	history	of	sexual	health	education	in	Canada.	First,	I	will	explain	the	advent	of	sex	education	in	Vancouver	between	1911	and	1913,	then	will	discuss	how	the	Sexual	Revolution	changed	what	was	being	taught	in	schools	regarding	sex	and	relationships.	This	will	bring	me	to	how	peer	education	has	now	entered	the	realm	of	sex	education.	At	the	turn	of	the	20th	century,	throughout	North	America	and	Europe,	sexual	education,	or	sex	hygiene	as	it	was	called	at	the	time,	became	a	pressing	matter.	Many	adults	were	concerned	about	the	effects	of	prostitution	and	the	spread	of	venereal	disease,	the	easy	circulation	of	fashion	magazines,	and	the	circulation	of	popular	American	and	foreign	films,	threatening	to	awaken	sexual	desires	in	youth.43	Parents,	doctors,	and	religious	leaders	became	increasingly	disconcerted,	leading	them	to	begin	to	think	about	how	to	educate	and	protect	their	children	from	the	social	ills	of	the	rapidly	modernizing	world	in	which	they	lived.	The	Western	world	began	to	turn	to	schools	as	the	way	to	inculcate	their	children	with	scientific	information,	values,	and	knowledge	about	sex	and	relationships.	                                                42	Ibid.,	494.	43	Jonathan	Zimmerman,	Too	Hot	to	Handle:	A	Global	History	of	Sex	Education	(Princeton:	Princeton	University	Press,	2015):	29.		 21	In	fact,	these	issues	concerned	the	Canadian	population	as	well.	As	Christabelle	Sethna	explains,	the	province	of	Ontario	was	facing	these	same	concerns.	She	writes:	“The	impetus	for	children's	school-based	sex	instruction	was	the	moral	and	medical	threat	posed	by	what	was	perceived	to	be	the	dreaded	corollary	of	prostitution	and	the	double	standard	of	sexual	morality:	venereal	disease.”44		As	Sethna	notes,	sexually	transmitted	infections	were	quite	prevalent	in	Canadian	society	at	the	time.	Soldiers	often	contracted	venereal	disease	abroad,	returned	home,	and	passed	on	their	infections.	Even	the	spread	of	diseases	between	prostitutes	and	clients	was	an	ever-increasing	difficulty.	So	pressing	was	the	issue	of	venereal	disease	that	the	Dominion	Government	granted	hundreds	of	thousands	of	dollars	to	venereal	disease	control	each	year.	Even	by	1926,	the	cause	remained	so	important	that	the	amount	dedicated	to	combating	venereal	disease	across	Canada	was	$125,000.45	A	pamphlet	called	Tell	Your	Children	the	Truth	outlined	the	urgency	of	educating	youth	about	these	problems,	so	that	they	would	not	be	introduced	to	them	by	less-reputable	sources.	It	read:		The	statistics	of	venereal	disease,	divorce,	illegitimacy	and	prostitution	are	sufficient	proof,	if	any	be	needed.	It	is	nonsense	for	parents	to	feel	sure	that	their	children	are	protected	 against	 any	 vulgar	 first	 lessons	 concerning	 sex.	 It	 isn't	 even	 a	 choice	between	 sex	 education	 and	 no	 sex	 education.	 The	 real	 choice	 is	 between	 sex	education	from	a	reliable	and	pure	source,	and	sex	information	from	unreliable	and	vulgar	sources.46	                                                44	Christabelle	Sethna,	“The	Facts	of	Life:	The	Sex	Instruction	of	Ontario	Public	School	Children,	1900-1950”	(doctoral	thesis,	University	of	Toronto,	1995):	1.	45	Note:	It	is	unclear	when	the	first	payments	of	these	kinds	were	made	to	the	provinces.	Canadian	Public	Health	Association,	“Annual	Meeting	of	the	Canadian	Social	Hygiene	Council,”	The	Public	Health	Journal,	17,	no.	6	(June,	1926),	310.	Accessed	November	20,	2015,	http://www.jstor.org/stable/41973499.	46	Canadian	Social	Hygiene	Council,	Division	of	Education,	Tell	Your	Children	the	Truth:	A	Social	Hygiene	Booklet	for	Parents,	(Toronto:	Canadian	Social	Hygiene	Council,	1928),	16.		http://hdl.handle.net/1974/9377.		 22	Across	the	country	in	Vancouver,	sex	hygiene	was	becoming	important	to	physicians	as	well.	A	particularly	salient	account	of	the	confusion	surrounding	the	implementation	of	sexual	health	education	programs	in	the	early	years	of	their	development	can	be	found	in	the	minutes	of	meetings	of	the	Committee	for	the	Supervision	of	the	Teaching	of	Sex	Hygiene	to	the	Advanced	Grades	of	High	School	Students.	Formed	in	1911,	the	committee	was	“instructed	to	inquire	into	the	general	aspects	of	the	Social-Evil,	to	ascertain	how	other	countries	were	dealing	with	it,	and	to	recommend	some	action	if	possible.”47		Between	1911	and	1913,	Doctors.	H.W.	Riggs,	J.M.	Pearson,	and	F.	Brodie	worked	to	collect	information	on	three	questions	in	particular:	what	was	being	taught,	how	it	was	being	taught,	and	who	was	most	fit	to	teach	it.	After	canvassing	many	colleagues	throughout	the	United	States	and	Europe,	it	seems	that	the	committee	was	unable	to	come	to	substantial	conclusions	about	the	best	way	forward.	The	evidence	the	members	compiled	was	sparse	and	vague,	with	little	compelling	evidence	pointing	to	concrete	answers	to	any	of	their	three	questions.	They	wrote:	“[…]	it	did	not	take	long	to	ascertain	that	the	whole	subject	was	a	veritable	welter	of	confusing	opinions	differing	as	to	whether	the	subject	should	be	taught	at	all,	and	if	so,	to	whom,	by	whom,	and	in	what	manner.”48	As	we	can	see,	the	quest	for	sex	hygiene	instruction	was	driven	by	the	pursuit	to	contain	venereal	disease,	divorce,	and	prostitution.		Many	years	later,	in	the	1960s,	during	a	time	of	change	in	sexual	liberation,	a	more	modern	Vancouver	would	echo	the	concerns	of	its	early	citizens	in	educating	about	and	                                                47	Frederic	Brodie	and	J.M.	Pearson,	“Report	of	the	Sex	Hygiene	Committee,”	(Minutes	of	the	Committee	for	the	Supervision	of	the	Teaching	of	Sex	Hygiene	Committee,	Vancouver	Medical	Association	Archives,	1911-1913),	19.	48	Committee	for	the	Supervision	of	the	Teaching	of	Sex	Hygiene,	“Committee	Minutes”	(Vancouver	Medical	Association	Archives,	1911-1913),	2,	4,	20.		 23	containing	sexuality,	albeit	in	a	different	way.	Although	the	concerns	of	parents	and	physicians	were	similar	to	those	of	their	early	20th	century	counterparts,	this	time	they	swirled	around	sexual	morality,	illegitimate	births,	the	prevention	of	divorce,	and	the	maintenance	of	the	nuclear	family	that	had	been	established	in	the	1950s.	In	fact,	Vancouver	was	not	alone	in	its	concerns	with	increased	sexual	freedoms.	When	discussing	the	Sexual	Revolution	in	general	terms	across	the	West,	Stephen	Garton	notes	that:	In	 the	1960s	and	1970s	 the	average	age	at	marriage	began	 to	 rise	again,	while	the	birth	rate	began	to	decline	after	the	postwar	baby	boom.	Men	and	women	were	spending	a	 larger	part	of	their	 lives	as	‘singles’.	There	was	a	large	market	of	increasingly	prosperous	sexually	available	people.	Similarly,	rising	divorce	rates	meant	that	nearly	half	of	all	marriages	would	end	up	with	the	participants	on	the	‘market’	for	sexual	adventure	and	companionship.49		The	issues	he	describes	were	absolutely	part	of	the	discussions	in	Vancouver	around	creating	more	comprehensive	and	consistent	sexual	health	education	programs	in	schools	during	this	time.		Consequently,	peer	education	has	been	growing	in	popularity,	especially	since	the	1960s	“to	such	an	extent	that	it	has	become	well	established	within	schools	and	the	youth	service.”50	In	fact,	there	is	evidence	that	its	popularity	really	began	in	the	late	1950s	on	college	campuses,	where	students	were	used	as	health	aides	providing	information	about	influenza,	or	about	the	dangers	of	drug	use.51	It	should	be	noted	that	during	the	1960s,	when	peer	education	was	gaining	popularity,	but	when	it	was	mostly	delivered	by	regular	teachers,	doctors,	or	nurses,	sex	education	had	very	different,	moral	undertones.	For	instance,	Susan	Freeman	discusses	the	                                                49	Stephen	Garton,	Histories	of	Sexuality,	(London:	Acumen,	2004):	222,		http://site.ebrary.com/lib/ubc/detail.action?docID=10386877. 50	Shiner,	"Defining	Peer	Education,"	555.	51	Parkin	and	McKeganey,	"The	Rise	and	Rise	of	Peer	Education	Approaches,"	299.		 24	ideal	life	for	which	students	receiving	sexual	education	during	this	time	were	meant	to	strive.	She	says:	“professionals	deemed	rushed	marriages	and	large	families	undesirable;	so,	too,	were	young	adults	who	never	moved	out	from	under	their	parents’	roofs.	To	put	it	simply,	acquiring	a	heterosexual	identity	during	adolescence	—	and	achieving	marriage	and	having	children	in	adulthood	—	constituted	the	pinnacle	of	individual	adjustment.”52	Jonathan	Zimmerman	explains	a	similar	viewpoint	when	talking	about	Mary	Whitehouse,	a	prominent	British	moral	activist	in	the	1960s	who	“[…]	sounded	a	cautionary	chord,	warning	that	recent	changes	were	eroding	essential	human	traditions	–	especially	family,	community,	and	personal	responsibility.”53	As	the	world	was	changing	so	rapidly,	socially	speaking,	in	the	1960s	with	regard	to	sexuality	and	promiscuity,	perhaps	this	is	why	peer	teaching	became	more	popular.	Nancy	Lesko	explains	that	“[d]uring	these	decades,	US	social	thought,	behavioral	norms,	and	public	policies	toward	sexuality	(e.g.	premarital	sexuality,	contraception,	and	abortion),	as	well	as	nudity,	pornography,	and	explicit	public	talk	about	sex,	changed.”54	With	the	divide	in	sexual	politics	between	young	and	old	widening,	it	is	possible	that	peer	education	was	a	novel	solution	for	bridging	this	gap	at	the	time.	Having	like-minded	students	teaching	students	could	have	been	a	way	to	further	progressive	agendas.	The	popularity	of	peer	sexuality	educators	has	continued	to	develop	since	60s,	and	has	grown	increasingly	common	since	then.55	Even	today,	youth	feel	disconnected	from	adult	                                                52	Susan	K.	Freeman,	Sex	Goes	to	School	:	Girls	and	Sex	Education	Before	the	1960s.	(Champaign:	University	of	Illinois	Press,	2008),	20,	http://site.ebrary.com/lib/ubc/detail.action?docID=10603932.	53	Zimmerman,	Too	Hot	to	Handle,	80.	54 Lesko,	Nancy.	"Feeling	Abstinent?	Feeling	Comprehensive?	Touching	the	Affects	of	Sexuality	Curricula."	Sex	Education	10,	no.	3	(2010):	281-297.	55	Christabelle	Sethna,	"The	Evolution	of	the	Birth	Control	Handbook:	From	Student	Peer-Education	Manual	to	Feminist	Self-Empowerment	Text,	1968-1975,"	Canadian	Bulletin	of	Medical	History	=	Bulletin	Canadien	d'Histoire	De	La	Médecine	23,	no.	1	(2006):	90.		 25	sexual	health	teachers.56	Yet,	students	are	living	in	an	era	enjoying	increasingly	liberal	attitudes	towards	sex	and	a	deeper	understanding	of	sexual	health	education	needs.	For	example,	the	Sexual	Information	and	Education	Council	of	Canada	(SIECCAN),	purports	the	following:		In	principle,	all	Canadians,	 including	youth,	have	a	right	to	the	 information,	motivation/personal	 insight,	and	skills	necessary	to	prevent	negative	sexual	health	 outcomes	 (e.g.,	 sexually	 transmitted	 infections	 including	 HIV,	unplanned	pregnancy)	and	to	enhance	sexual	health	(e.g.,	positive	self-image	and	 self-worth,	 integration	 of	 sexuality	 into	 mutually	 satisfying	relationships).57		This	statement	demonstrates	the	understanding	that	although	biological	processes	about	intercourse	are	important	to	know,	there	are	other,	social	aspects	that	people	must	be	aware	of	for	their	overall	wellbeing.	The	goal	is	therefore	not	to	promote	one	kind	of	relationship	over	another	through	sexual	health	education.	Furthermore,	the	Public	Health	Agency	of	Canada	also	promotes	an	inclusive	curriculum	to	guide	Canadian	sexual	health	programming.	They	say	that:	Effective	 sexual	 health	 education	 maintains	 an	 open	 and	 nondiscriminatory	dialogue	that	respects	 individual	beliefs.	 It	 is	sensitive	to	the	diverse	needs	of	individuals	 irrespective	 of	 their	 age,	 race,	 ethnicity,	 gender	 identity,	 sexual	orientation,	socioeconomic	background,	physical/cognitive	abilities	and	religious	background.58		The	Public	Health	Agency	of	Canada	is	therefore	ensuring	that	sexual	health	education	reflects	current	sexual	attitudes,	and	does	not	discriminate	against	sexual	choices	of	individuals,	reflecting	a	feminist,	intersectional	approach.		                                                56	Langille	et	al.,	"So	Many	Bricks	in	the	Wall,”	249-250;	Kidger,	“'You	realise	it	could	happen	to	you',”	192.		57 Alexander	McKay,	"Sexual	Health	Education	in	the	Schools:	Questions	&	Answers	(3rd	Edition),"	The	Canadian	Journal	of	Human	Sexuality	18,	no.	1-2	(2009):	49.	58	“Canadian	Guidelines	for	Sex	Education,”	Last	modified	October	1,	2008,	http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/cgshe-ldnemss/theory-eng.php,	no	page.		 26	Finally,	a	very	contemporary	concern	for	sexual	health	educators	is	young	people’s	use	of	the	internet.	Online	pornography	is	a	concern	for	educators	and	parents	alike,	and,	as	Karen	Baker	explains,	it	is	a	topic	that	should	be	included	in	sexuality	education	in	schools,	especially	within	peer	education.	While	her	study	of	218	young	people	in	British	schools	is	relatively	small,	it	does	give	insight	into	whether	or	not	online	pornography	should	be	addressed	in	sexuality	education.	She	says:		The	majority	of	young	people	(62.3%)	reported	that	they	felt	schools	should	be	teaching	about	risks	associated	with	viewing	online	sexually	explicit	media.	The	most	commonly	chosen	method	for	education	was	peer-led	discussions	among	16-	to	18-year-olds,	followed	by	teacher-led	discussions	and	small	group	work.			Forty-seven	participants	chose	to	answer	the	open	question	asking	for	a	reason	behind	their	choice.	The	majority	of	comments	by	pupils	who	chose	the	‘peer-led	discussion	with	sixth	formers	(16-	to	18-year-olds)’	revolved	around	the	idea	that	children	would	be	more	 trusting	of	 their	peers,	 find	 it	easier	 to	 relate	 to	them	 and	 be	 more	 comfortable	 talking	 to	 them	 rather	 than	 teachers	 about	sexually	explicit	media.59		However,	online	pornography	is	not	the	only	way	that	youth	are	using	the	internet	for	information	about	sexuality.	Some	also	use	it	to	find	websites	containing	sexual	health	information.	Amelia	Holstrom	notes	that	in	the	United	States,	“[f]ifty-five	percent	of	8–18	year	olds	have	ever	looked	for	health	information	online,	and	in	one	study	29%	of	15–18-year-old	participants	had	used	the	Internet	to	look	up	sexual	health	information.”60	Holstrom	goes	on	to	explain	that	in	a	study	of	35	sexual	health	websites	in	the	United	States,	the	information	on	these	sites	“generally	failed	to	dispel	common	sexual	myths	and	[did]	not	always	incorporate	                                                59	Karen	Elizabeth	Baker,	"Online	Pornography	-	Should	Schools	Be	Teaching	Young	People	About	the	Risks?	An	Exploration	of	the	Views	of	Young	People	and	Teaching	Professionals,"	Sex	Education	16,	no.	2	(2016):	223.	60	Amelia	M.	Holstrom,	"Sexuality	Education	Goes	Viral:	What	we	Know	About	Online	Sexual	Health	Information,"	American	Journal	of	Sexuality	Education	10,	no.	3	(2015):	278.		 27	the	latest	clinical	guidelines	on	sexual	health.”61	The	ease	of	access	to	pornography	online,	but	also	more	educational	sources	of	sexuality	information	can	be	both	positive	and	negative	for	young	people.	So,	due	to	the	prevalence	of	information	accessible	to	students	in	the	current	digital	age,	it	is	extremely	important	to	ensure	that	the	information	taught	by	peer	sexual	health	educators,	or	all	sexuality	educators	who	teach	in	person,	is	accurate.		Peer	teachers	keep	sexuality	education	young,	cool,	and	personal	When	thinking	about	the	implications	of	sexual	health	education	such	as	discomfort	in	talking	about	sex,	differing	sexual	experiences	between	generations,	and	the	power	dynamics	involved	in	sexual	health	instruction,	it	seems	that	peer	education	could	be	a	good	fit	for	this	sensitive	subject	matter.	For	instance,	having	someone	close	to	the	age	of	teenagers	can	make	them	seem	more	in	touch	with	the	reality	of	the	students’	sex	lives.	Cupples	et	al.	suggest	that	“peer	educators	are	better	able	to	capture	students’	attention	and	deliver	prevention	messages	in	a	manner	that	is	hip	and	relevant	to	youth	culture	while	still	being	medically	accurate	and	comprehensive.”62		Furthermore,	by	being	“young	and	cool”	the	educators	may	increase	the	likelihood	of	student	participation,	as	talking	to	a	peer	can	sometimes	be	more	comfortable	than	talking	to	an	adult	about	sex.	Peer	educators	“may	be	more	effective	communicators	than	adults	because	they	better	understand	the	life	experiences,	language	and	norms	of	teenage	culture,	and	can	increase	the	social	acceptability	of	their	health-related	advice.”63	This	illustrates	Bandura’s	                                                61	Ibid.,	281.	62	Cupples	et	al.,	"Reaching	Young	Men,"	22S.	63	Claire	Brindis	et	al.,	"Evaluation	of	a	Peer	Provider	Reproductive	Health	Service	Model	for	Adolescents,"	Perspectives	on	Sexual	and	Reproductive	Health	37,	no.	2	(2005):	85.		 28	social	learning	theory,	especially	with	regards	to	how	teenagers	choose	after	whom	they	model	their	behavior.		 Another	way	that	young	educators	can	be	effective	in	getting	sexuality	education	material	across	is	by	the	simple	fact	that	the	power	dynamic	between	peer	educator	and	student	is	somewhat	more	level,	rather	than	in	the	traditionally	authoritative,	power-driven,	top-down,	teacher-student	power	dynamic.	Louisa	Allen	explains	how	this	“teacher-pupil	binary”	can	be	useful	for	teaching	many	subjects,	but	that	sexual	health	education	can	disrupt	this	traditional	relationship	due	to	the	nature	of	the	content.64	One	way	in	which	this	binary	is	disrupted	by	sexual	health	content	is,	as	Brindis	et	al.	(2005)	explain,	that	students	may	have	“sexual	cultures”	and	beliefs	about	contraception,	sex,	and	parenthood,	that	do	not	align	with	those	of	their	teachers.	Having	a	younger	educator	who	might	share	these	same	beliefs	could	help	students	connect	with	the	material	the	educator	is	teaching.	Brindis	et	al.	further	elaborate	on	this	point	by	explaining	that:	“if	sex	education	is	to	have	any	impact	on	individual	lives,	it	needs	to	connect	with	these	‘sexual	cultures’	and	position	young	people	as	informed	and	agential	in	the	educative	process.”65		Power	in	a	teacher-student	relationship	also	manifests	itself	in	the	way	that	teachers	respond	to	students’	questions.	Especially	when	talking	about	sex,	some	teachers	may	feel	uncomfortable,	and	become	judgmental	about	the	choices	students	make.	High	school	students	in	a	Nova	Scotia	study	on	sexuality	education	reported	such	feelings	of	discomfort	and	judgment.	Researchers	reported	that	“students	perceived	their	teachers	as	coming	from	a	                                                64	Allen,	“‘It's	not	who	they	are	it's	what	they	are	like’,”	32.	65	Kidger,	“'You	realise	it	could	happen	to	you',”	194.			 29	generation	having	different	values	about	sexuality,	which	created	a	credibility	issue	for	[them].”	They	also	reported	that	“teachers	were	not	able	to	relate	to	their	experiences	and	were,	or	could	be,	judgmental	about	their	sexual	behaviour.”66	This	demonstrates	that	teaching	about	sex	is	a	delicate	matter.	Creating	an	environment	of	trust	and	comfort	for	students	(as	much	as	possible),	and	choosing	just	the	right	kind	of	educator	can	have	an	impact	on	student	learning.		In	contrast	to	the	arguments	just	put	forward,	peer	teachers	are	not	always	named	as	the	best	teachers	of	sexual	education,	as	was	noted	in	another	study.	Louisa	Allen	discovered	that	some	students	felt	that	talking	to	their	peers	and	sharing	information	about	their	own	sex	lives	and	sexuality	could	be	disadvantageous	because	they	might	repeat	it	in	the	school	yard	to	other	students.67	Allen’s	overall	study	points	to	the	fact	that	what	is	often	important	is	not	“who”	the	teacher	is,	but	what	their	perceived	qualifications	and	characteristics	are.	In	her	study,	65%	of	students	answered	“no”	when	asked	if	they	preferred	sexuality	educators	to	be	closer	to	their	own	age.	She	explains	that	age	is	not	the	only	factor	in	creating	effective	sexuality	education.	It	is	also	the	qualities,	sexual	experience,	and	knowledge	that	matter	to	students	when	they	are	asked	to	rank	the	best	sexual	health	educators.68		Although	Allen’s	study	produced	these	results,	it	seems	to	be	one	of	only	a	few	studies	on	peer	education	that	does	not	wholly	advocate	the	benefit	of	the	youthful	age	of	peer	educators.	This	may	be	because	other	studies	were	not	asking	students	what	characteristics	they	sought	in	a	good	sexual	health	educator.	It	may	also	be	because	the	peer	educators	in	most	studies	are	highly	                                                66	Langille	et	al.,	"So	Many	Bricks	in	the	Wall,”	251-252.	67	Allen,	“‘It's	Not	Who	they	are	it's	what	they	are	Like’,”	39.	68	Ibid.,	45.		 30	trained,	and	therefore	more	knowledgeable	in	general	than	regular	teachers	who	are	obligated	to	teach	sex	education.		Similarly,	the	knowledge	level	of	peer	educators	and	their	personal	experiences	seems	to	be	an	important	factor	for	students.	In	a	British	study	carried	out	by	Judi	Kidger,	teen	mothers	were	used	as	peer	sexual	health	educators.	Through	this	study	it	was	determined	that	the	expertise	of	young	mothers	would	have	a	greater	impact	on	the	students,	due	to	their	personal	experiences	giving	them	more	credibility.69	By	having	mothers	tell	their	own	stories,	“it	was	felt	that	these	real-life,	personalized	stories	are	rarely	reflected	in	more	dominant	narratives	about	teenage	sex,	pregnancy	and	parenthood[.]”70	In	these	workshops,	the	young	mothers	told	their	own	stories,	spoke	about	how	their	lives	changed	after	having	a	baby,	detailed	financial	challenges,	disruptions	in	their	education,	and	how	having	a	baby	at	such	a	young	age	affected	their	relationships	with	friends	and	family.71	This	personalization	of	sexual	experience,	which	provided	a	direct	link	to	observable	results	of	unprotected	sex	on	someone	their	own	age,	seemed	to	be	an	effective	way	to	impact	the	choices	made	by	the	students	in	these	workshops.	Kidger	cites	a	year-11	female	student	who	attended	this	workshop,	who	said:	“I	think	before	it’s	easy	to	think	it	couldn’t	happen	to	you,	now	you’re	more,	well	it	could	be	you.”72	It	can	be	understood,	then,	that	because	the	students	were	witnessing	the	impacts	of	uninformed	sexual	health	decisions	directly	from	someone	their	own	age	rather	than	from	an	intermediary	adult	explaining	what	could	happen,	these	peer	educators	were	easier	to	relate	                                                69	Kidger,	“'You	realise	it	could	happen	to	you',”	187.	70	Ibid.	71	Ibid.	72	Ibid.,	191.		 31	to.	Students	who	had	attended	the	workshops	described	the	effectiveness	of	the	workshops	as	coming	from	the	fact	that	the	“young	mothers	were	speaking	about	their	own	experiences	and	appeared	to	be	as	open	and	honest	about	this	as	possible.	These	factors	led	pupils	to	attach	a	high	truth-value	to	what	they	were	saying,	often	in	contrast	to	the	message	brought	by	teachers[.]”73	The	“direct	from	the	horse’s	mouth”	approach,	in	this	case,	seems	to	have	been	more	effective	for	these	students,	than	hearing	the	information	second-hand	from	an	adult	teacher.	The	personal	angle	of	the	young	mothers	made	them	more	relatable.		Although	the	personal	experience	of	these	particular	peer	educators	seemed	to	give	them	more	credibility	with	students,	using	teen	mothers	as	“bad	examples”	should	not	be	held	up	as	a	perfect	model	of	peer	education.	It	should	be	noted	that	the	young	mothers	may	have	been	positioned	as	victims	of	their	bad	choices.	This	technique	is	not	one	that	reflects	an	explicitly	feminist	view.	It	stigmatizes	teen	mothers,	and	ignores	the	role	of	teen	fathers	as	well.	However,	this	example	is	still	significant,	as	it	illustrates	how	peers	can	have	an	effect	on	student	choices	in	a	way	that	adults	cannot,	by	virtue	of	their	proximity	in	age,	and	through	their	first-hand	and	up-to-date	knowledge.	Specific	training	matters			 Another	way	in	which	peer	educators	can	become	more	relatable	is	through	their	comfort	in	discussing	sexual	topics.	Historically	and	even	presently,	“most	health	education	is	taught	by	teachers	with	little	or	no	collaboration	from	health	experts.”74	This	makes	it	difficult	                                                73	Ibid.,	192.	74	Lynda	L.	Milham,	“Lessons	Never	Learned:	Health	Education	in	British	Columbia	1875-1998”	(Master’s	thesis,	Simon	Fraser	University,	1998):	25-26.		 32	to	create	a	comfortable	and	trustworthy	environment	within	which	students	can	learn	about	sex.	Teacher	discomfort	is	a	recurring	theme	in	sexuality	education.	For	instance,	Langille	et	al.	assert	that	“[s]ince	teacher	comfort	in	presenting	course	material	correlates	with	student	responsiveness	and	a	positive	classroom	environment,	the	instructional	environment	in	sexuality	classrooms	may	be	less	than	optimal	where	teacher	training	is	deficient.”75	Teachers	often	have	feelings	of	awkwardness,	and	lack	of	information	or	knowledge	to	answer	questions	posed	by	students.	In	their	study	of	the	barriers	to	sexual	health	education	in	Nova	Scotia,	Langille	et	al.	say:		Participants	 had	 experienced	 occasions	 when	 teachers	 were	 visibly	uncomfortable,	 and	 avoided	 discussing	 sexual	 health	 material.	 These	 signs	were:	avoidance	of	using	proper	terminology	(e.g.	penis)	in	favour	of	awkward	and	less	specific	terms	(e.g.	private	parts);	turning	away	from	the	class	when	speaking;	not	answering	questions;	and	avoidance	of	certain	topics.76		Something	as	basic	as	using	the	proper	terminology	when	describing	sexuality,	sexual	intercourse,	and	sexual	health	is	easily	surmounted	with	proper	training.		 Consequently,	peer	educator	knowledge	levels	matter	greatly	in	peer	teaching.	Because	these	educators	do	not	necessarily	already	have	all	the	knowledge	and	vocabulary	for	adequately	teaching	sexual	health	education,	it	is	important	for	the	peer	educators	to	be	specifically	trained	for	this	job.	What	sets	peer	educators	apart	from	teachers	is	that	they	are	often	professionally	trained	to	deliver	sexual	content	in	schools.	In	fact,	Rye	et	al.	(2009),	explain	that	“evidence	suggests	that	many	Canadian	teachers	receive	little	or	no	pre-service	                                                75	Langille	et	al.,	"So	Many	Bricks	in	the	Wall,”	247.		76	Ibid.,	252.			 33	training	in	sexual	health	education.”77	This	notion	is	echoed	by	Cohen	et	al.	(2004).	They	assert	that:	“only	16%	of	Bachelor	of	Education	programs	at	Canadian	universities	provide	compulsory	training	in	sexuality	education,”	and	that	“only	one	half	of	Canadian	school	districts	regularly	offer	in-service	training	in	sexuality	education	and	only	one	third	of	teachers	report	having	participated	in	in-service	training.78	This	is	a	Canadian	example,	yet	it	seems	that	the	trend	is	potentially	worse	in	the	United	States.	In	research	done	by	the	Sexuality	Information	and	Education	Council	of	the	United	States,	(SIECUS)	in	a	sample	of	251	degree-granting	institution,	SIECUS	“found	that	no	sexuality	education	methods	courses	were	offered	to	professionals-in-training,	and	only	2%	offered	methods	in	HIV/AIDS	education,	this	despite	the	fact	a	bulk	of	states	then	required	HIV/AIDS	education.”79	This	could	be	related	to	the	fact	that	abstinence-only	sexuality	education	is	still	relatively	popular	in	the	United	States,	and	has	received	significant	funding	from	the	past	three	U.S.	government	administrations.80	Kohler	et	al.	report	that	in	their	study	of	abstinence-only	(delaying	sex	until	marriage,	and	birth	control	as	ineffective),	vs.	comprehensive	sexual	education	programs	(including	abstinence	messages,	and	information	on	birth	control,	relationships,	condom	use	and	choice-making)81,	most	teens	surveyed	reported	receiving	comprehensive	sexual	education.	“Overall	9.4%	of	participants	reported	that	they	had	not	received	any	sex	education,	whereas	23.8%	reported	abstinence-                                                77	B.J.	Rye	et	al.,	"Satisfaction	with	School-Based	Sexual	Health	Education	in	a	Sample	of	University	Students	Recently	Graduated	from	Ontario	High	Schools,"	The	Canadian	Journal	of	Human	Sexuality	18,	no.	3	(2009):	110.		78	Cohen	et	al.,	"Sexual	Health	Education,”	2.	79	Andrew	S.	Walters	and	David	M.	Hayes	"Teaching	about	Sexuality,"	American	Journal	of	Sexuality	Education	2,	no.	2	(2007):	35.	80	Douglas	Blanks	Hindman	and	Changmin	Yan,	"The	Knowledge	Gap	Versus	the	Belief	Gap	and	Abstinence-Only	Sex	Education,"	Journal	of	Health	Communication	20,	no.	8	(2015):	949.	81 Paula	McAvoy,	"The	Aims	of	Sex	Education,”	486. 	 34	only	education	and	66.8%	comprehensive	sex	education.”82	Perhaps	this	significant	minority	of	abstinence-only	and	lack	of	sexuality	education	can	account	for	teachers	not	being	formally	trained	to	teach	sex	education.			In	the	United	Kingdom,	there	is	a	similar	lack	of	formality	and	regulation	around	sexual	health	and	relationships	education	or	SRE,	as	it	is	called.	In	fact,	it	is	not	compulsory	for	teachers-in-training	to	study	this	area.83	Evans	and	Tripp	detail	the	general	discomfort	of	teachers	in	teaching	sexual	health	education.	They	say	that	teachers	in	the	U.K.	reported	“a	lack	of	well-structured	schemes	of	work	detailing	appropriate	content,	classroom	practice,	and	attainment	targets	while	facilitating	positive	student	behaviours,”	and	that	it	is	difficult	“to	‘ratchet	up’	the	quality	and	quantity	of	teachers	in	such	a	marginalised	and	controversial	area	of	the	curriculum.”84	From	the	above	examples,	it	seems	as	though	sexual	health	education	is	still	shrouded	in	the	discomfort	exacerbated	by	its	historically	taboo	nature,	despite	national	efforts	in	the	aforementioned	three	countries	to	address	teen	pregnancy,	HIV,	and	STI	rates.	Not	only	does	this	demonstrate	the	level	to	which	sexual	health	education	is	undervalued	in	Canadian,	American,	and	British	schools,	but	it	also	opens	the	door	for	peer	educators	to	provide	more	comprehensive	and	relevant	education,	simply	due	to	the	fact	that	they	have	received	more	training	than	most	teachers.			Many	peer	education	programs	use	a	community	of	professionals	around	them	to	ensure	quality	education.	For	instance,	one	program	in	Oregon,	the	Male	Advocates	for	                                                82	Pamela	Kohler,	et	al.,	"Abstinence-Only	and	Comprehensive	Sex	Education	and	the	Initiation	of	Sexual	Activity	and	Teen	Pregnancy,"	Journal	of	Adolescent	Health	42,	no.	4	(2008):	345.	83	David	L.	Evans	and	John	Tripp,	"Sex	Education:	The	Case	for	Primary	Prevention	and	Peer	Education,"	Current	Paediatrics	16,	no.	2	(2006):	96.	84	Evans	&	Tripp,	“The	Case	for	Primary	Prevention,”	96.		 35	Responsible	Sexuality	(MARS)	program,	is	a	community-based	peer-to-peer	promotion	program	designed	to	address	reproductive	and	sexual	health	behaviors	among	men	ages	13-25.85	To	train	their	peer	educators,	MARS	connects	with	many	different	local	organizations	to	use	their	expertise	in	helping	to	deliver	training	to	their	educators.	The	training	these	organizations	provide	is	as	follows:	[L]ocal	university	 counselling	and	psychological	 services	 staff	 train	on	male	counseling	techniques,	components	of	healthy	and	unhealthy	relationships,	and	maintaining	personal	and	professional	boundaries	[…]	Health	department	family	planning	providers	cover	STIs	and	contraceptive	options.	LGBTQ	issues	are	discussed	by	a	local	university	organization	specializing	in	this	topic	area.	In	 addition,	 community	 experts	 in	 sexual	 assault	 prevention	 education	contribute	to	the	MARS	training.86			Using	local	experts	allows	for	future	consultation	with	these	organizations,	and	the	development	of	ongoing	training	relationships.		Similarly,	the	Randomized	Intervention	of	Pupil-Led	Sex	Education	(RIPPLE)	study	in	the	United	Kingdom	used	“an	external	team	of	health	promotion	practitioners	with	experience	of	delivering	peer-led	sexual	health	programmes	in	schools,”	who	trained	the	peer	educators	to	“prepare	classroom	sessions	aimed	at	improving	the	younger	pupils’	skills	in	sexual	communication	and	condom	use,	and	their	knowledge	about	pregnancy,	STIs	(including	HIV),	contraception,	and	local	sexual	health	services.”87	Specific	training	for	peer	educators	is	an	important	aspect	of	this	kind	of	teaching,	as	it	creates	well-informed	peer	teachers,	and	could	lead	to	increased	levels	of	comfort	on	the	part	of	both	the	peer	educator	and	the	students,	due	to	the	dynamic	created	when	learning	occurs	between	                                                85	Cupples	et	al.,	“Reaching	Young	Men,”	20S.	86	Ibid.,	21S.	87	Stephenson,	et	al,	"Pupil-Led	Sex	Education,”	339.			 36	peers.		Student-led	information	and	meaningful	pedagogy		 Aside	from	sexual	educators	ensuring	that	a	comfortable,	trusting,	and	open	dialogue	is	created,	it	is	important	that	the	information	received	is	student-led.	Training	peer	educators	does	not	mean	that	they	become	“the	mouthpiece	for	adults.”	On	the	contrary,	encouraging	peer	educators	to	“find	their	own	voice	and	words”	was	a	technique	used	by	the	MARS	program	in	Oregon.	88	This	program	encouraged	the	peer	leaders	to	create	new	ideas	(with	support),	which	led	to	increased	commitment	and	improved	performance	on	the	part	of	the	peer	educators.89	If	the	peer	educators	are	engaged	in	the	subject	matter	and	are	presenting	it	in	their	own	manner,	they	may	talk	about	sex	more	like	their	peers	than	their	adult	teachers.	Both	having	training	and	latitude	over	the	ways	the	information	is	presented	could	lead	to	more	general	comfort	on	the	part	of	the	educators.	This	leads	me	to	wonder	if	this	kind	of	technique	could	be	applied	to	specifically	trained	adult	sexuality	educators,	and	if	it	would	increase	the	effectiveness	of	the	regular	teacher’s	sexuality	education	instruction.	Could	there	be	room	for	peer	educators	and	teachers	to	work	together	to	deliver	sexuality	education	content	one	day?	Another	way	to	keep	students	engaged	is	through	allowing	them	to	ask	questions.	Students	must	be	able	to	have	questions	answered	professionally	and	thoroughly.	A	key	part	of	sexual	health	education	is	often	the	use	of	a	“question	box”	in	which	students	can	drop	anonymous	questions	to	be	posed	to	the	educator,	and	answered	within	the	session.	In	Kidger’s	                                                88	Cupples	et	al.,	“Reaching	Young	Men,”	23S.	89	Ibid.,	23S.		 37	study	of	teen	mothers	as	sexual	health	educators,	“a	central	part	of	each	session	was	allowing	pupils	to	ask	whatever	questions	they	wanted	to,	in	an	attempt	to	provide	information	that	the	pupils	themselves	identified	as	important,	and	that	they	were	not	receiving	elsewhere.”90	It	is	my	interpretation	that	the	use	of	the	question	box,	or	even	simply	being	afforded	the	option	to	have	questions	answered	frankly	is	important	as	it	contributes	to	students	feeling	heard,	less	embarrassed,	and	creates	an	environment	in	which	the	students	feel	they	have	control	over	the	information	they	are	receiving.	This,	in	turn,	enables	the	educator	to	demonstrate	that	they	are	not	attempting	to	impress	their	own	views	on	the	students,	but	that	they	are	willing	to	engage	in	a	dialogue	that	comes	directly	from	the	students	themselves.			 Participatory	techniques	also	create	engaging	pedagogy	for	students	through	peer	education.	This	flattens	the	teacher-student	binary	somewhat,	and	makes	for	a	more	energized	approach.	Evans	and	Tripp	(2006)	explain	three	ways	in	which	carefully	designed	programs	using	collaboration	between	the	educator	and	the	students	can	be	helpful.	They	say	that:		(1)	peers	can	model	successful	relationships	and	demonstrate	how	good	social	skills	can	bring	all-round	benefits;	(2)	a	peer	presence	in	the	classroom	and	their	commitment	to	key	programme	objectives	changes	the	perceived	norms	of	the	learners;	 and	 (3)	 peers	 are	 much	 more	 effective	 at	 creating	 a	 learning	environment	in	which	the	learners	accept	the	value	of	practicing	relationships	skills	through	a	range	of	role-play	techniques.91	Therefore,	a	well-trained	peer	educator	can	model	behaviour	and	address	sensitive	issues	through	role-playing,	thereby	possibly	making	the	content	much	more	interactive	and	interesting	than	a	regular	teacher	might.	Furthermore,	while	studying	the	effectiveness	of	peer	education,	Stephenson	et	al.	note	that	peer	teachers	“[…]	adopted	a	less	formal	approach	than	                                                90	Kidger,	“'You	realise	it	could	happen	to	you',”	187.	91	Evans	&	Tripp,	“The	Case	for	Primary	Prevention,”	98.		 38	teachers	and	made	more	use	of	participatory	classroom	teaching	techniques.	These	involved	games	and	small-	group	work,	discussions,	brainstorms,	role-playing,	and	demonstrating	how	to	use	condoms.”92	The	informality	of	peer	teachers	creates	a	potentially	more	welcoming	environment	within	which	students	may	learn.	This	informal	technique	seems	to	have	success	in	other	studies	as	well.	Fields	and	Copp	discuss	the	impact	that	having	a	peer	teacher	can	have	with	regards	to	students	feeling	heard,	understood,	and	informed.	They	write:	Peer	education	is	a	step	towards	equitable	sexuality	education.	Peer	education	offers	 not	 only	 a	 pedagogical	 strategy	 for	meaningful	 teaching	 and	 learning	about	 sexuality	 but	 also	 a	 potentially	 transformative	 response	 to	 rigid	 and	alienating	understandings	of	youth,	sexuality	and	education.	By	affording	youth	the	chance	to	assume	the	role	of	teacher	and	placing	young	people’s	expertise	and	 lived	 experience	 at	 the	 centre	 of	 sexuality	 education,	 peer	 education	recognises	young	people’s	capacity	to	be	informed,	inspiring	and	empathetic.93			I	think	it	is	important	to	note	here	that	placing	young	people’s	expertise	at	the	centre	of	the	education	is	significant.	It	helps	demonstrate	that	teens	can	be	informed	about	their	own	sexuality,	and	that	they	do	not	always	have	to	learn	about	it	from	an	adult.	Most	teens	learn	about	sex	from	their	peers	outside	of	the	classroom.94	Using	a	peer	to	teach	them	more	specific	information	about	safe	sex	practices	validates	the	feeling	that	they	already	know	about	sex,	and	that	adults	can	be	out	of	touch.		 The	use	of	scripts	to	teach	sexuality	education	is	another	approach	that	peer	educating	programs	employ.	According	to	Evans	and	Tripp,	this	is	a	more	controversial	and	an	approach	“shunned	by	education	experts,”95	because	on	the	surface,	it	can	seem	restrictive.	Some	of	the	                                                92	Stephenson	et	al.,	"A	School-Based	Randomized	Controlled	Trial,”	650.	93	Fields	and	Copp,	“Striving	for	Empathy,”	200.		94	Walters	and	Hayes,	“Teaching	About	Sexuality,”	30.	95	Evans	&	Tripp,	“The	Case	for	Primary	Prevention,”	98.		 39	beneficial	aspects	of	peer	education	are	the	creative	and	earnest	teaching	approaches	in	this	format,	so	having	scripts	can	seem	to	stifle	these	qualities.	It	should	be	mentioned	nonetheless.	One	British	program	that	uses	scripts	is	called	APAUSE,	or	Added	Power	and	Understanding	in	Sex	Education.	They	do	this	by	scripting	what	the	peers	will	deliver	in	their	sessions	to	students	and	encouraging	students	to	remain	faithful	to	the	scripts	when	delivering	their	programs.96	Evans	and	Tripp’s	study	of	the	APAUSE	program	highlights	what	has	been	successful	about	this	approach.	They	write:		We	have	found	that	scripts,	carefully	developed	with	young	people	which	reflect	their	 perceptions,	 language	 and	 experience	 can	 help	 stabilise	 the	 quality	 and	fidelity	of	the	learning	experience.	Provided	there	is	an	understanding	that	these	scripts	are	broadly	generic	and	descriptive	of	the	classroom	performance	and	not	merely	prescriptive,	young	people	and	their	teachers	can	 learn	to	adapt	them	and	give	them	a	more	personalised	feel.	In	this	way,	a	good	script	can	be	used	in	a	wide	range	of	educational	and	cultural	contexts.97		But,	could	this	approach	hinder	the	personal	messages	and	informal	feel	of	peer-led	sexual	education?	The	authors	claim	it	does	not,	nor	does	it	prevent	the	peer	educators	from	“owning”	the	material	in	an	authentic	way.	They	say	that	in	fact,	this	method	has	had	success,	and	that	“the	impact	on	learners	of	peer	education	and	of	the	peers’	experience	of	this	‘pedagogic’	style	of	delivery	have	shown	that	not	only	do	both	peers	and	learners	derive	many	benefits	in	terms	of	their	personal,	health	and	educational	needs	but	both	learners	and	unselected	volunteer	peers,	rate	the	intervention	very	highly	while	the	latter	promote	participation	to	others.”98	                                                96	Ibid.	97	Ibid.	98	Ibid.		 40		 Aside	from	the	importance	of	teaching	methods	in	keeping	peer	education	novel	and	interesting,	it	should	focus	on	relationships	as	well	as	the	biological	functions	of	the	body.	Louisa	Allen	details	the	importance	of	involving	discourses	of	pleasure	in	sexuality	education,	which	acknowledge	that	all	youth	and	all	sexual	identities	have	a	right	to	experience	sexual	pleasure.	She	says:	Including	this	discourse	within	programmes	is	about	creating	spaces	in	which	young	 people’s	 sexual	 desire	 and	 pleasure	 can	 be	 legitimated,	 positively	integrated	 and	 deemed	 common	 place.	 The	 presence	 of	 such	 a	 discourse	would	also	involve	a	right	to	knowledge	about	the	body	as	related	to	sexual	response	and	pleasure	and	may	include	the	logistics	of	bodily	engagement	in	sexual	activity.	This	information	is	vital	not	only	for	practicing	safer	sex	(for	example,	 which	 pleasurable	 activities	 are	 high/low	 risk	 for	 sexually	transmissible	 infections),	 but	 also	 in	 terms	 of	 enhancing	 interpersonal	relationships.	If	the	aim	of	sexuality	education	is	sexual	health	and	well-being,	then	introducing	a	discourse	of	erotics	does	not	mean	discarding	messages	about	preventing	unwanted	outcomes	of	sexual	activity.99		Walters	and	Hayes	demonstrate	how	this	idea	is	relevant	in	practice.	They	say	that:	“[s]tudents	report	that	a	focus	only	on	biological	foundations	of	sexuality	is	not	what	they	need	nor	does	it	tailor	to	their	interests.”100	So,	not	only	would	it	be	beneficial	for	students	to	receive	sexuality	education	that	encompasses	all	sexual	identities,	feelings,	and	learning	about	building	healthy	relationships,	it	is	actually	what	they	want.101	Forrest	et	al.	further	reinforce	the	notion	of	what	young	people	are	really	looking	for	in	sexuality	education.	In	it,	they	report	that	in	response	to	a	questionnaire,	“52%	of	girls	[surveyed]	and	49%	of	boys	agreed	or	strongly	agreed	that	they	would	like	more	information	about	sexual	feeling,	emotions	and	relationships.”102		                                                99	Allen,	"Beyond	the	Birds	and	the	Bees,”	152.	100	Walters	and	Hayes,	“Teaching	About	Sexuality,”	29.	101	A	point	of	note	is	that	whereas	sexuality	education	in	Canada	and	in	the	United	States	is	often	called	Sexual	Health	Education,	or	simply	Health	Education,	in	the	United	Kingdom,	it	is	called	Sex	and	Relationships	Education,	seemingly	accounting	for	the	addition	of	this	kind	of	material.	102	Forrest	et	al.,	"What	do	Young	People	want?”	345.		 41	It	appears	that	including	discussions	on	relationships,	peer	pressure	and	consent	to	the	curriculum	is	still	quite	a	new	approach	in	the	U.S.,	Canada	and	the	U.K.	Langille	et	al.	report	similar	findings	to	Forrest	et	al.’s.	They	write	that	in	Lear’s	1997	study,		it	 was	 discovered	 that	 participants’	 experiences	 of	 school-based	 sexuality	education	 centred	 on	 the	 physiological	 and	 gave	 little	 attention	 to	 the	complexities	of	 relationships.	None	of	 the	participants	experienced	 school-based	discussions	about	sexuality	that	were	positive	in	nature,	resulting	in	sex	education	classes	which	had	little	impact.103		This	focus	on	the	biological	harkens	back	to	the	beginnings	of	sexual	health	education,	which	was	very	much	biology-based,	and	in	which	students	learned	about	animal	and	plant	reproduction.	Although	it	cannot	be	denied	that	learning	about	sex	through	a	biological	lens	is	an	important	component	as	well,	adding	the	extra	component	of	navigating	relationships	could	be	a	positive	way	to	ameliorate	sexual	health	education.	Not	only	would	it	improve	the	quality	of	the	education,	but	it	would	also	further	the	feminist	agenda	of	equality	embedded	within	many	sexuality	education	programs.	Langille	et	al.	explain	that	in	their	study	of	Nova	Scotia	schools,	young	women	reported	the	following:	Education	 focused	 on	 issues	 such	 as	 anatomy	 rather	 than	 their	 own	experiences,	feelings	and	interactions.	A	lack	of	personally	relevant	content	was	 articulated,	 and	 participants	 indicated	 feeling	 that	 a	 more	 realistic	examination	 of	 the	 factors	 surrounding	 sexuality	 and	 sexual	 activity	 was	needed.	 In	 sum,	 there	 was	 a	 dissonance	 between	 what	 went	 on	 in	 the	classroom	and	in	the	everyday	lives	of	these	young	women.104		Including	such	information	could	help	create	a	more	satisfying	curriculum	for	students,	and	could	help	teens	develop	their	interactions	in	relationships	in	more	feminist	ways.	Peer	                                                103	Langille	et.	al.,	“So	Many	Bricks	in	the	Wall,”	247.		104	Ibid.,	249.			 42	educators	and	sexual	health	educators	in	general	should	start	focusing	on	the	overall	“quality	of	young	people’s	relationships,	and	enabling	them	to	develop	more	mature	attitudes	to	the	place	of	intercourse	in	intimate	relationships.”105	Challenges	of	peer	sexuality	education	programs		 Although	thus	far	I	have	highlighted	the	benefits	of	peer	sexuality	education	programs,	I	would	like	to	point	out	the	fact	that	these	initiatives	do	not	come	without	challenges.	Retaining	educators,	financial	factors,	the	fallibility	of	peer	educators,	and	actual,	measurable	results	all	must	be	considered	when	weighing	whether	peer	educators	are	entirely	beneficial.	To	begin,	Fields	and	Copp	say	that	“youth	is	a	temporary	status.”	106	Eighteen-year-old	peer	educators	will	not	remain	18,	young,	and	cool	forever.	Peer	educators	therefore	have	a	shelf	life.	Hull	et	al.	explain	the	problem	succinctly.	They	say:	“Each	year,	the	rising	cohorts	disappear	from	schools	and	youth	groups,	becoming	young	adults,	developing	careers	and	marrying.”107	Furthermore,	since	many	peer	educators	are	between	the	ages	of	18	and	25,	they	are	often	university	students	as	well,	and	this	can	lead	to	complex	scheduling	problems.108			 Another	consideration	is	that	the	peer	educators	are	volunteers.	Often	they	are	not	motivated	by	a	salary,	so	waning	dedication	and	participation	demands	can	become	costly.	Having	to	intake	new	peer	educators	on	a	constant	basis	due	to	attrition	and	volunteers	losing	interest	can	become	costly	for	program	organizers.	Raine	et	al.	explain	that	“[b]ecause	conducting	a	peer	education	program	requires	a	high-intensity	effort,	it	would	be	more	cost-                                                105		Evans	&	Tripp,	“The	Case	for	Primary	Prevention,”	97.	106	Fields	and	Copp,	“Striving	for	Empathy,”	196.	107 Hull	et	al.,	“‘Peer’	Educator	Initiatives,"	34. 108	Cupples	et	al.,	“Reaching	Young	Men,”	24S.		 43	effective	to	hire	staff	who	are	already	trained	as	peer	educators[.]”109	This	notion	of	paying	peer	educators	as	staff	is	reiterated	by	Walker	and	Avis,	who	recommend	paying	educators	when	possible.	“This	ensures	peer	educators	are	not	exploited	if	the	level	of	pay	is	consistent	with	the	task;	it	also	makes	them	feel	valued	and	provides	greater	controls	in	relation	to	quality	control	mechanisms.”110	In	her	study	of	48	peer	educator	programs	in	the	United	States,	Sarah	Beshers	provides	insights	into	the	percentages	of	programs	that	compensate	their	peer	educators,	and	the	various	ways	in	which	they	do	so.	Her	survey	found	that	“[n]ineteen	peer	education	programs	(39.6%)	provided	no	compensation	to	their	peer	educators,	two	(4.2%)	gave	academic	credit,	and	27	(56.3%)	provided	a	financial	stipend”111	So,	in	this	case,	we	can	deduce	that	over	half	of	peer	educator	programs	she	surveyed	actually	compensate	their	educators	in	some	way.	Beshers	further	explains	how	much	peers	were	paid.	She	says	that	the	average	hourly	rate	was	between	$5.00	and	$10.00.112	It	is	possible	that	it	is	so	low	because	a)	youth	are	historically	paid	close	to	minimum	wage,	b)	it	is	referred	to	as	a	stipend	and	not	a	salary,	and	c)	students	are	not	facilitating	workshops	as	a	permanent	job,	therefore	are	compensated	more	as	a	gesture	for	the	time	they	give,	rather	than	as	a	fee	for	service.	On	the	other	hand,	in	certain	cases,	using	peer	leaders	can	be	cost-effective,	as	in	the	case	of	the	MARS	program,	which	employs	its	outreach	workers	as	interns	or	temporary	employees.	This	is	helpful	financially,	as	interns	and	temporary	employees	are	not	entitled	to	full	fringe	benefits.113	                                                109	Tina	Raine	et	al.,	"The	Other	Half	of	the	Equation:	Serving	Young	Men	in	a	Young	Women's	Reproductive	Health	Clinic,"	Perspectives	on	Sexual	and	Reproductive	Health35,	no.	5	(2003):	213.	110	Walker	and	Avis,	"Common	Reasons	Why	Peer	Education	Fails,"	575. 	111	Beshers,	"Where	are	the	Guys?,”	283.	112	Ibid.,	283.	113	Cupples	et	al.,	“Reaching	Young	Men,”	24S.		 44		 A	completely	different	kind	of	problem	with	regards	to	peer	educators	is	associated	with	the	use	of	teenaged	mothers	as	sexual	health	educators.	Kidger’s	2004	study	of	young	mothers	as	peer	teacher	highlights	the	fact	that	these	women	were	telling	their	stories	in	order	to	instruct	students	to	delay	parenthood,	and	that	some	shaped	their	stories	more	negatively	to	meet	this	end.	She	also	notes	that	this	could	be	an	ethical	problem,	as	“pupils	are	being	led	to	believe	that	they	are	hearing	something	that	is	‘agenda	free.’”114	Yet,	I	am	not	certain	I	agree	that	sexuality	education	is	ever	really	agenda	free.	For	example,	abstinence-only	education	has	a	moral	or	religious	agenda,	and	feminist-based	sexual	education	has	an	egalitarian,	feminist	agenda.	Depending	on	the	goals	of	each	sexual	health	education	program	or	class,	the	agendas	differ.	Yet,	her	point	is	an	important	one:	that	educators	can	manipulate	their	stories	to	meet	certain	ends.	It	is	therefore	important	to	remember	the	following:	“given	that	all	narratives	are	reconstructions,	there	is	an	extent	to	which	the	teller	always	adapts	what	is	said	according	to	context.”115		 A	final	consideration	to	keep	in	mind	is	that	peer	educators	can	make	mistakes,	as	can	any	educator.	This	can	be	in	relation	to	the	information	they	are	providing,	or	with	regards	to	their	professional	conduct.	In	the	case	of	the	MARS	program,	as	Cupples	et	al.	explain,	“because	it	is	typically	peer	educators’	first	experience	working	in	a	professional	setting,	a	functional	understanding	of	a	professional	conduct	cannot	be	taken	for	granted.	So-called	diamond	in	the	rough	peer	educators	occasionally	make	mistakes,	which	require	tough	management	decisions.”116	Peer	educators	can	therefore	be	taxing	on	the	program	organizers,	as	they	could	                                                114	Kidger,	“'You	realise	it	could	happen	to	you',”	192.	115	Ibid.,	192.	116	Cupples	et	al.,	“Reaching	Young	Men,”	24S.		 45	have	to	spend	time	disciplining,	or	more	closely	supervising,	the	content	that	the	peers	deliver,	in	order	to	ensure	that	its	accuracy	and	professionalism.		Conclusion		I	have	described	how	peer	sexual	health	educators	have	proven	to	be	effective	in	conveying	sexual	health	information	in	different	ways	from	traditional	sexual	health	educators	through	their	ability	to	relate	to	teens	on	a	personal	level,	through	specific	training	as	peer	sexual	health	educators,	and	by	using	student-led	instruction	and	meaningful	pedagogy	in	sexuality	education.	I	have	also	outlined	a	few	challenges	presented	by	the	use	of	peer	educators	in	curriculum-based	peer	education.	Peer	education	can	be	an	effective	way	to	communicate	information	about	sexual	health	to	students,	but	its	actual,	concrete	effects	have	been	historically	understudied.	As	Stephenson	et	al.	put	it,	“[s]chools	are	complex	environments	in	which	to	implement	peer-led	interventions,	and	peer	education	remains	an	unproven	method	for	delivery	of	health	education.”117	Since	the	evidence	is	generally	positive	regarding	the	way	students	perceive	peer	educators,	and	since	it	seems	that	this	method	is	at	least	as	good,	if	not	better	in	some	cases	than	traditional	methods	of	sex	education,	it	may	be	a	helpful	stop-gap	measure	to	continue	to	provide	trained	educators	in	schools	to	deliver	sexuality	education.	If,	one	day,	governments,	universities,	private	organizations,	and	school	boards	begin	to	seriously	invest	in	training	school	teachers	to	deliver	the	curriculum	themselves,	perhaps	peer	educators	will	no	longer	be	needed	in	curriculum-based	sexuality	education.	Conversely,	we	may	simply	be	at	the	very	beginning	of	the	success	of	peer	                                                117	Stephenson	et	al.,	“Pupil-Led	Sex	Education,”	344.		 46	education,	and,	with	more	research	and	funding,	maybe	peer	education	could	become	a	more	important	and	effective	method	of	teaching	sexuality	education.	Another	way	to	look	at	it,	is	that	if	curriculum-based	peer	sexuality	education	is	simply	a	replica	of	regular	sex	education,	but	with	a	different	kind	of	teacher,	why	bother	investing	in	it?	Turner	and	Shepherd	make	the	point	that	“if	peers	have	more	credibility	than	teachers	why	attempt	to	make	peers	adopt	a	role	similar	to	a	teacher?”118	Maybe	what	is	needed	is	the	creation	of	a	completely	new	pedagogical	model	of	peer	sex	education,	one	that	has	yet	to	be	explored.		 If	this	is	to	be	the	case,	then	I	believe	that	Canada	is	uniquely	placed	to	innovate	and	obtain	funding	in	this	area,	due	to	current	Prime	Minister	Trudeau	being	in	power,	and	his	penchant	for	having	a	feminist	outlook	and	creating	awareness	about	gender	equality.119	By	being	the	first	Canadian	Prime	Minister	to	create	gender	parity	in	his	cabinet,	being	a	self-proclaimed	feminist,	and	by	answering	“it’s	2015”	when	asked	why	he	strove	to	achieve	this	parity,	he	demonstrated	his	commitment	to	the	normalization	of	gender	equality	in	this	country.	He	has	also	received	special	commendation	for	gender	equality	at	the	Catalyst	Awards,	(the	leading	nonprofit	organization	accelerating	progress	for	women	through	workplace	inclusion)	for	“his	leadership	in	advancing	diversity	and	gender	equality.”120	Not	only	through	                                                118	Turner	and	Shepherd,	"A	Method	in	Search	of	a	Theory,"	no	page.		119	“Davos	2016:	Justin	Trudeau	and	Sheryl	Sandberg	on	Gender	Equality	–	video,”	TheGuardian.com,	last	modified	January	22,	2016,	https://www.theguardian.com/business/video/2016/jan/22/davos-2016-justin-trudeau-sheryl-sandberg-gender-equality-video;	Alexander	Panetta,	“Justin	Trudeau	pushes	for	gender	equality	at	UN	women’s	conference,”	GlobalNews.ca,	last	modified	March	16,	2016,	http://globalnews.ca/news/2581600/justin-trudeau-pushes-for-gender-equality-at-un-womens-conference/.	120	Laura	Stone,	“Trudeau	praised	for	his	efforts	to	create	gender	equality,”	TheGlobeandMail.com,	last	modified	March	16,	2016,	http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/trudeau-announces-canadian-bid-for-2021-seat-on-un-security-council/article29256657/;	“Canadian	Prime	Minister	Justin	Trudeau	to	be	Honored	by	Catalyst	for	Inclusive,	Game	Changing	Leadership,”	Catalyst.org,	last	modified	January	22,	2016,	http://www.catalyst.org/media/canadian-prime-minister-justin-trudeau-be-honored-catalyst-inclusive-game-changing-leadership.		 47	the	media,	but	also	through	government	funding,	it	appears	as	though	there	has	never	been	such	an	open	dialogue	on	gender	and	egalitarian	issues	as	there	is	now	in	Canada.	For	instance,	federal	initiatives	like	the	creation	of	a	new	“Advisory	Council	on	the	Federal	Strategy	Against	Gender-based	Violence”	since	June	2016,	and	Status	of	Women	Canada’s	new	funding	for	projects	that	advance	gender	equality	in	Canada	demonstrate	a	willingness	to	engage	in	feminist	solutions	to	creating	a	more	gender	egalitarian	Canada.121	Harnessing	this	trend	could	make	a	significant	difference	in	the	future	of	Canadian	sexual	health	education.		It	seems	that	trends	in	the	United	States	and	United	Kingdom	could	be	moving	in	an	opposite	direction	due	more	conservative	attitudes	prevailing	since	the	Brexit	vote	in	the	U.K.,	and	the	election	of	President	Trump	in	the	U.S.	There	was,	however,	a	temporary	resurgence	of	attention	to	gender	during	the	Obama	administration	due	to	a	shocking	number	of	campus	sexual	assaults	and	rapes	occurring	in	American	(and	other)	universities.	Sexism	was	also	particularly	highlighted	during	the	2016	Clinton	campaign.	Unfortunately,	it	seems	that	American	and	British	federal	attention	to	the	causes	of	women’s	rights,	sexual	health	and	education	could	wane	significantly	in	the	next	few	years.	Perhaps,	if	the	current	trends	in	sexuality	education	do	not	continue	to	expand	and	improve	due	to	political	force	and	a	rise	in	British	and	American	conservatism,	men	may	choose	to	be	more	and	more	absent	in	sexual	health	and	education	discussions.	This	could	in	turn	negatively	affect	the	growing	need	for	male	peer	educators	in	sexual	health	education,	thereby	creating	a	delay	in	reaching	groups	of	young	                                                121	“About	the	Federal	Strategy	on	Gender-based	violence,”	swc-cfc.gc.ca,	last	modified	November	18,	2016,	http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/violence/strategy-strategie/index-en.html;	“Funding	to	Advance	Gender	equality	in	Canada,”	swc-cfc.gc.ca,	last	modified	October	13,	2016,	http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/fun-fin/cfp-adp/2016-2/index-en.html.		 48	men	through	means	that	are	specifically	catered	to	them.	Eventually,	it	could	be,	that	this	may	lead	to	the	stalling	of	sexual	health	education	advancements.	Since	young	men	are	already	underrepresented	as	peer	sexual	health	educators,	and	if	these	trends	do	materialize	in	the	way	that	I	have	described,	it	could	be	that	the	studies	needed	to	determine	the	effects	of	male	peer	educators	will	never	come	to	light.	Investigating	why	young	men	are	more	reticent	than	their	female	counterparts	to	participate	in	peer	sexuality	education	is	crucial	to	improving	sexuality	education.	In	order	to	be	able	to	further	research	how	to	use	male	peer	educators	to	reach	young	men	when	it	comes	to	teaching	them	feminist	lessons	on	equality,	sexuality,	consent,	and	positive	relationship-building,	we	must	first	know	what	drives	their	reluctance	to	participate	as	educators.	Once	this	is	determined,	it	could	be	possible	to	increase	their	numbers	and,	in	turn,	our	knowledge	about	what	is	needed	to	make	sexuality	education	more	effective.	Equality	is	not	achieved	through	the	work	of	feminists	and	women	only.	Men	must	be	equal	partners	in	the	struggle	for	gender	equality,	and	instilling	these	feminist	ideals	in	young	men	through	peer	education	could	be	a	way	to	move	this	agenda	forward.										 49	Bibliography	“About	the	Federal	Strategy	on	Gender-based	violence.”	swc-cfc.gc.ca.	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