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Working title of PhD: Preventing Harmful Sexual Behaviour Through Restorative Justice- Centred Sex Education

Institution: Edinburgh Napier University

Full or Part-time: Full-time

Year commenced: 2021

PhD Supervisors: Dr Estelle Zinsstag, Dr Jamie Buchan, Dr Andrew Wooff, Dr Katharine Jenkins

Funding source: University Scholarship


My research sets out to assess the potential for incorporating restorative approaches into sex education across secondary schools in Scotland. More specifically, my doctoral project investigates how delivering sex education in a way that incorporates restorative approaches could prevent harmful sexual behaviour by increasing student participation and engagement in class and creating an open environment for students to learn both from the teachers and each other. My research demonstrates how framing sex education in a restorative way can help to address and prevent harmful sexual behaviours with children and young adults.

Main research question: Can a restorative justice-centred sex education help to address and prevent harmful sexual behaviour?

Subsidiary questions: – How should restorative approaches be implemented into sex education into state secondary schools across Scotland? – What can be learnt- if anything- from the way that restorative approaches have been implemented into schools across the United Kingdom? – How may a school adopt a climate which encourages social connectedness, equality, and mutual respect (Macready, 2009) while effectively responding to problematic and potentially harmful behaviours? – What are the potential benefits and challenges for implementing restorative approaches into sex education in schools across Scotland, and how can we overcome the potential challenges?

Methodological approach: My doctoral project uses mixed methodology with action research.

Keywords; restorative approaches, education, harmful sexual behaviour



Edinburgh Napier University & University of Glasgow

Research Themes

Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice

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