What is If I Were Jack?

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What is 'If I were Jack'?

If I were Jack is a unique intervention developed collaboratively with experts, government bodies, RSE experts, pupils and teachers over several years in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Australia.

One of its unique characteristics is that it starts off with an interactive film which brings to life a week in the life of Jack, a young man whose girlfriend has just told him she is pregnant. The interactive film invites each of the viewers, to 'be Jack', to imagine how they would react if they were in his situation and to make some decisions.

If I Were Jack is designed to help young people avoid an unintended pregnancy during their teenage years. It is especially intended to help young men become aware of their responsibilities in avoiding an unintended pregnancy during adolescence.

We have found that the four-week intervention helps to make the message real for boys and girls, helping them to think for themselves about how to avoid an unintended pregnancy. But we need to find out if this leads to changes in behaviour that might reduce teenage pregnancies. The resource has been designed for use within the relationship and sexuality education curricula (RSE) of post-primary schools in the UK and  Ireland, although it also has potential for use internationally and outside of school settings.

A version of this resource, If I were Ben, is also in use in schools in South Australia and is delivered by our collaborators,  Shine and Flinders University.

The If I Were Jack educational resource includes an interactive video drama (IVD) which tells the story of an unexpected pregnancy from a teenage man’s perspective. It also contains educational materials to assist teachers in using the IVD in the classroom, a training package for teacher trainers and web-based educational material for parents, including two animated films which help parents have conversations with their teens about sex and pregnancy.

The resource invites both male and female users to put themselves in Jack’s shoes encouraging them to reflect on the consequences of such a situation in their own lives. The key educational aims of the resource are to provide young men and women with:

Increased awareness of the potential negative consequences of unintended pregnancy and available support services

Increased awareness of personal attitudes, values and beliefs in relation to unintended pregnancy

Improved self-efficacy in communicating about unintended pregnancy

Increased awareness of gender norms associated with unintended pregnancy




The Jack Trial