Young people see role models as important in relationships learning

Ahead of Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) Day on 30th June, Survation conducted polling of 1,012 young people aged 16-25 in England. Young people highlighted the vital contribution that role models play throughout the different aspects of their lives.

Role models can take many different forms, both formal and informal, and can have a lasting impact on the young people around them.  Young people told us parents, immediate family members (85%) and peers (84%) have the biggest influence on their relationship preparedness. Relationship and sex education in school was also seen as important (77%), and learning from responsible adults in organised activities outside school (76%).

Trustworthiness was ranked the most important attribute of positive relationship role models by young people, with 53% selecting this. Teachers and youth workers were considered to be highly trustworthy, along with parents and grandparents.

That teaching staff should be knowledgeable and confident (87%), teaching should help young people to recognise unhealthy relationships (87%) and that students should learn about feelings and needs that motivate their behaviour (86%) were seen to be the most important aspects of RSE in schools.

76% of young people asked cited the importance of learning from responsible adults in organised activities outside of school. However, 40% of young people have not interacted with a youth worker, highlighting the opportunity for greater engagement. Structured youth work with responsible adults – either within or beyond school communities – may offer a unique opportunity to equip young men with the aspirations and skills for healthy and nurturing relationships. 

Get The Data


The tables for this research can be found here. Survation conducted online and telephone polling of 1,071 16-25 year olds in England on behalf of Fastn, between 13th and 16th June 2022. 



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