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Religious young people: their faith and their sex education

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Tonie Stolberg
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

This research project aims to explore how young people with religious beliefs can be helped or hindered in understanding issues to do with sex and sexuality, and the role played by their formal sex education in this. It will attempt to answer the following research questions:

• How does religious faith shape the way young people understand issues to do with sex and sexuality?
• What role does the sex education they receive in school play in shaping these understandings?
• How can schools better provide for the religious diversity of their students when teaching sex education?

Rising rates for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI)s among young people in England have been attributed to inadequate sex education and adolescent dissatisfaction with the sex education they receive. At the same time, there can often be a mismatch between the secular assumptions of most sex education programmes and the needs of young people with religious faith.

The importance of religion to the identity of many teenagers is supported by a recent survey of young people (aged 13-14) in England which indicates that 70% attest to having a religious faith, and 45% state that their religion is important to their way of life. Indeed, for religious young people, faith is by far the most important source of information for informing their sexual values, attitudes and practices.

Education PhD
A PhD requires a minimum period of study as a registered student of normally three years full-time or six years part-time. The PhD is by thesis only, and is examined by a work of 80,000 words maximum and an oral examination. Postgraduate researchers are required to complete the research training programme, normally in the first two years of registration. One to one supervision is provided throughout the length of the formal registration. Postgraduate researchers who are involved in similar areas may also have some group supervision.
To find out more details and to apply online view the Education PhD webpage

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Funding Notes

There is no funding specifically linked to this project.

Where applicable, applicants will be supported to apply for ESRC, AHRC or University of Birmingham studentships or bursaries. Information about studentships in Education is available here:

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Please contact Supervisor for pre-publication versions of relevant research articles.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Education?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.70

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