The research will advance new knowledge in a range of fields, such as social work, psychology and criminology. The findings for will be published in academic journals. Summaries will be available on the project webpages for researchers, policymakers, parents, practitioners and children. Briefings, reports and academic articles will be available as the project progresses. A podcast of key findings, aimed at service users and practitioners, will also be available. The findings will be given at international and national conferences, such as NOTA, ATSA and HSRUK. Key success criteria will be measured through the number of organisations using the tool and the uptake of the research by policymakers and practitioners. The knowledge gained through the study, establishing an indicative sexual behaviours baseline for 13-18 years olds and the development of a tool will contribute to decision making about provision through the engagement of key stakeholders such as the LFF, Brook, Barnardos, HUT and the NSPCC. The findings will be disseminated to all stakeholders in the area to impact upon their working practice ie DfE, NSPCC, Brook, LFF, Barnardos.
This study will provide a unique contribution to knowledge as no current data on sexual behaviour or methods for researching sexual behaviour in CYP currently exists in the UK. A key impact the project will have is on approaches to sexual behaviours through sharing information with schools, health organisations, charities, service providers and social entrepreneurs, indicating what normative sexual behaviours are currently, in the UK. The quality and cost-effectiveness of public services and organisations providing support in the area of sexual behaviour in CYP will be improved as approaches to sexual behaviours, and assessment will be context specific to the UK. This has both short term and long-term implications for support services and the justice system as reports of HSB in CYP are rising.
Policy making in this area will be improved as no national strategy currently exists at the moment, ensuring that policy-makers recognise and provide the support that is required for CYP in relation to sexual behaviours. Policy-makers, from the DoH and the DfE (civil servants and MPs), local government organisations, think tanks, charities, as well as journalists, will be informed about the research findings. It will contribute to policy and practice decisions around the recent changes in the national curriculum in which RSE is compulsory and impact on a micro-level within schools and the approaches and information that is taught. The findings will also impact upon policy and practice relating to social media and online sexual behaviours, giving insight into these behaviours and how these can be best addressed, on a national level with CYP. This will be carried out by supporting policy makers in designing interventions, requiring social media platforms to examine their policies and support schools in the teaching of online safety and support healthy online behaviours.
The findings will contribute valuable knowledge to an area where there is little research. It is the intention that this work will also lead on to research that will ascertain what sexual behaviours are present in the under 13s. Whilst culture and gender are not explicit components of this study it is intended that the results from this research will also form the basis of further studies in these specific areas.