(Sexual Health and Relationships Education or Safe, Happy and Responsible)
began as a research-based teacher-led sex education programme aimed at pupils aged 13 to 15 in secondary schools. It was
piloted by the Health Education Board for Scotland (now NHS Health Scotland) and the Medical Research Council between 1993
and 1996 in Lothian and Tayside schools, and was then subjected to a randomised trial
(for detail on the methodologies used in the
trial: Medical Research
Council – SHARE
The findings from the trial showed that in comparison with conventional
sex education, SHARE is evaluated more highly by both pupils and teachers, it increases practical sexual
health knowledge and there is some improvement in the quality of sexual relationships, primarily through
reduced regret. Indications from follow-up research have found modest changes in the thinking of young people
who received SHARE. Young people:
were more likely to believe that you don't have to have sexual intercourse in romantic or sexual relationships
had greater intentions to resist unwanted sexual activities
had greater intentions to discuss the use of condoms with sexual partners
were less likely to agree that using condoms spoils sexual fun and enjoyment
This changed thinking is a first step towards changed behaviours.
Hilary Dixon was closely involved with the team from the Medical Research Council in devising the materials and training programme
for SHARE. The findings
and outcomes of the randomised trial – the analysis of which techniques and
methodologies were shown by the academic research to be effective – form the theoretical and academic basis for much of the development
of Me-and-Us’ materials and training programmes.
SHARE included training for teachers, health professionals
and others working in schools, and included SHARE classroom materials.
SHARE is the biggest research programme on the effectiveness of
sex and relationships education to have taken place in the UK.