What is 'If I Were Jack'?
If I Were Jack is a Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) resource which focuses on young men and unintended pregnancy.
The resource is based around an interactive video drama (IVD) which tells the story of Jack, a teenager who has just found out that his girlfriend Emma is unexpectedly pregnant. The user is encouraged to put themselves in Jack’s shoes and consider how they would feel if they were in his situation. The resource addresses the much-neglected role and perspectives of teenage men in relation to teenage pregnancy. However, it is designed to encourage reflection and discussion among teenage women, as well as teenage men, and to go beyond the gender stereotypes surrounding teenage pregnancy. It includes a computer-based IVD, educational materials to assist teachers in facilitating classroom discussions around the issues raised in the IVD and web-based educational materials for parents.
WHO HAS DEVELOPED THE RESOURCE?
If I Were Jack was developed by a research team at Queen’s University Belfast in collaboration with key stakeholders in Northern Ireland and Ireland including the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety Northern Ireland, the Public Health Agency Northern Ireland, the Council for Curriculum Education and Assessment Northern Ireland, the Health Services Executive Crisis Pregnancy Programme Ireland and the Department of Education and Skills Ireland as well as teacher trainers, teachers, students and parents. Adapted versions of the resource developed for use in England, Scotland and Wales were developed in consultation with researchers from Cardiff University, University of Glasgow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University College London.
If I Were Jack has the following key messages:
- Relationships, sex and pregnancy can be positive experiences when they are mutually consensual and an individual is prepared and ready for them.
- Young men, as well as young women, have roles and responsibilities with respect to relationships, sex and pregnancy.
- With the correct skills and knowledge, young men and young women can make safe and responsible decisions relating to relationships, sex and pregnancy.
- Unintended teenage pregnancy can be a stressful experience for some people that may involve difficult decisions and potentially challenging outcomes.
- It is important for young people to consider their personal values and beliefs regarding relationships, sex and pregnancy and to make a plan for positive experiences that are in line with these.
- Confidential and impartial support and information is available locally and online for young people in relation to all aspects of their sexual health.
If I Were Jack takes a positive, comprehensive, objective and non-judgmental approach to RSE. The educational objectives are to increase teenagers’ awareness of:
- how relationships, sex and pregnancy can be positive experiences when they are mutually consensual and a person is prepared and ready for them;
- their own personal attitudes, values and beliefs with regard to relationships, sex and pregnancy and how to effectively communicate these to others;
- the attitudes, values and beliefs of their family and peers and those of the school ethos in relation to relationships, sex and pregnancy;
- the importance of personal responsibility and agency in avoiding unintended pregnancy;
- gender norms and stereotypes associated with relationships, sex and pregnancy;
- reliable sources of online information on sexual health; and
- local sexual health support services.