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St Andrew's College Dublin St Andrew's College Dublin

Parent/Guardian Talks

How to Speak with your Teenagers about Sexuality and Consent with

Dr. Siobhán O’Higgins

The St. Andrew’s College PTA is delighted to announce the second Parent & Guardian Webinar for the 2021/22 school year with guest speaker Dr. Siobhán O’Higgins.

Tuesday, 15 February 7:30 p.m.

This will be a virtual event. Registration is essential:


Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with information on how to join the webinar. If you are unable to attend on the night, registrants will receive a recording of the event. Please note that if you do not register, you will not have access to the recording.

Parents and guardian often dread speaking with their kids about sex, and their kids can equally feel awkward. Even though talking about sex can be uncomfortable, it’s a conversation that should happen. Talking to your teens about sex and consent helps them understand their rights and responsibilities, and what safe and healthy sex should be. Sexual activity is an important component of physical and mental health and wellbeing and the behaviours, norms and practices are established during adolescence, the ages spanning between 13 and 18.

Topics that will be included in the session are:

  • Addressing parental anxieties about consent and speaking with children about sexuality and intimacy.
  • Understanding the context and influences which inform adolescents’ decisions to explore their sexuality.
  • Prompting conversations about consent and media at home by sharing relevant resources to enable children to safely navigate and explore their sexuality.

Some information about Dr. O’Higgins

Dr Siobhán O’Higgins moved to Ireland in 1979 after her primary degree. Siobhán has been promoting sexual health since 1990, working with parents, young people, teachers, educators, prisoners and professional groups like GPs, first as a youth and community worker, then as a teacher, lecturer, sexologist and clinical researcher, in the Department of Health Promotion and since 2010 the School of Psychology, NUI Galway.

Her PhD, awarded in 2011, explored what young Irish people want to learn and how they wanted to be taught about sexuality and relationships. The research also looked at RSE teachers’ reactions to the young people’s data and what they felt they would need in order to teach the highlighted topics and methods. Siobhán translated her academic understanding into practice working with schools and parents with Sexual Health West (formerly AIDS West) as the basis for the WISER and Little WISER education and prevention programmes.

Siobhán has published extensively in journals and contributed to books related to sexuality education, participative research methods and, more generally, on the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Siobhán has qualifications in counselling, youth and community work as well as postgraduate diplomas in Criminology and Sexology. She has been working with schools since 1990. Over the past 10 years, Siobhán has collaborated with her colleagues in Active* Consent, Dr. Pádraig MacNeela and Dr. Charlotte McIvor, to translate research data into Consent workshops and dramas that raise awareness and sow the seeds to positively influence behaviour in relation to sexual consent.

Some information about the St Andrew’s College PTA webinar series

We provide opportunities for parents, families, and teachers to meet and discuss matters of mutual interest and concern. This is the second Parent and Guardian Talk in our Webinar series for the 2021 /2022 school year. The series invites experts to discuss a variety of parenting topics impacting our children today. The webinars are a unique way for parents and guardians to hear educational and psychology experts as well as other professionals discuss topics that impact young people both in and out of school. Subjects the series covers include mental health, Internet safety, anxiety, and nutrition. Parents and guardians who join are encouraged to utilise the live chat and Q &A. The PTA has traditionally organised parent talks in the school. Operating within COVID guidelines mean we are currently hosting webinars which we hope will be beneficial and enjoyable for parents. For more information regarding the St Andrew’s College PTA activities or to make any suggestions, please visit the PTA section of the website PTA SECTION