Updated: Feb 10
Episode number 12 has just been released and is available for you to listen.
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Unfortunately, young people today are getting their education on sex and their bodies in places that do not offer a wholesome and supportive understanding on this topic. With access to phones, internet and readily available porn – so many young people are completely disconnected from their own bodies…and to a point where they are using outside forces to inform them of how to be in relationships. In this interview I speak with gender expert and social educator Rachel Andras, who beautifully outlines what is in fact missing from sex-ed and what is needed to support young people to come back to using their own inner-compass to navigate relationships and sex - and to set standards based on knowing the love that is within their own body. Rachel makes all of this very real which is very refreshing and very much needed on a topic that so many feel completely lost with.
Rachel is the co-founder and director of the INDERA Foundation and heads up the INDERA – Gender Consultancy as a co-director. She is an entrepreneurial, dedicated, client-oriented Gender and Educational professional with more than 20 years of professional experience gained across International Cooperation, Gender Equality and Education, with diverse stakeholders across Europe, Latin, and Central America. She focuses on empowerment strategies introducing body awareness and “self-care” as an essential category of value-creation specifically in the area of reproductive and sexual health and gender-based violence. Working with youth she focuses on the “normalisation of violence” and the impact normalised abuse has on young people and their understanding of gender equality, empowerment and well-being.
Some of the topics we discuss:
What is abuse and what is violence? We tend to only look at the extremes…but what is the whole picture and what is fostering that we can reach these extremes?
There is a gap between learning something and then actually living it. We know how to function in life but there is something missing.
Sex education has to be about your relationship you have with your body.
We have very little that focuses on how do you feel – that we are feeling beings.
If our feelings and awareness is not nurtured then we develop a lot of coping mechanisms and we crave love and connection. We find a lot of replacements e.g., porn
Our ideals and beliefs make us feel empty and we are constantly looking for something to fill us up.
We need to be asking young people – how can you connect to your body and your inner-world and build a relationship with this.
Romantic love – is this what we should be striving for?
How do changes in your breath inform you about your connection?
“Our bodies are a massive resource of information and supports us on how to be in life to keep us on the front foot rather than being a victim”
Sex education starts in kindergarten because it is about having a relationship with your body.
Detecting abusive behaviour is hard to do if we are abusive and critical with ourselves.
In society we ignore the massive power source in our body that is not recognised. If we grow up without our inner compass being nurtured, then we go by what the world is telling us.
We need to support children to activate this power source so that life becomes much more simple.
If you go against the grain and the expectation of society then you are ostracised. The pressure to join in is huge. Young people need a lot of support with this – to learn how to be with your own body.
As parents we can ask our children questions to support them – ‘how does it feel when a boy touches your hand?’ ‘how do you feel being with them’ ‘do you really like them’ ‘how does it feel when he/she kisses you’ etc
When boys enter puberty they are basically obliged to let go of their sensitivity. Boys are extremely sexualised.
Be open with the young people in your lives, share with them and be vulnerable. Being honest about our own experiences can support them. We do not need to be perfect and or the master of this topic because the truth is, we probably aren’t.
The importance of the female cycle and understanding that it is a vital part of wellbeing and having a healthy relationship with your body.
More from Rachel:
CYCLE WISE PARENTS
This comprehensive online course will be available soon. A 6 module series designed to support parents to bring more truth & understanding to periods and to empower them to support the young women in their lives. Through this awareness you will be able to support your daughter to develop a lifelong confidence and understanding of her own body.
Looking for support on how to support the young people in your life on all things periods?
Book a FREE 15 minute consult with Sara to find out more.
As mentioned in this episode, 'Ovulation - your introductory guide to fertility awareness & knowing when you ovulate' is available now for FREE on the website for you to download - for a limited time (at the time of recording this).
Please note: The information in these podcasts is of a general nature for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, health concern, or illness and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical or health care professional. By engaging with this material and any other material distributed by Follow your Flow, you are acknowledging that you are solely responsible for any decisions you make regarding your health.