‘Never mind the mechanics, what about the (sexual) ethics?’: Sex, sexuality and social work education, in sexual violence prevention

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External departments

  • University College Dublin
  • Massey University


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-635
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Work Education
Issue number5
Early online date13 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the efficacy of sexual violence prevention education (SVPE) in the USA and Australasia: areas, which have some of the worst rates for sexual violence prevalence, globally. Paradoxically, they are also at the forefront of innovations in sexual violence prevention, compared to some European countries where SVPE is virtually non-existent or at the embryonic stage, such as the UK. Drawing upon the Authors’ previous research on the delivery of SVPE in New Zealand secondary schools, and literature reviews into these innovations, the authors argue that social work education is ideally placed to develop SVPE, due to the ways that some of these innovations, coalesce with social work theory, critical andragogy, and social work values. These synergies have the potential for transnational application through the ways that they can inform SVPE in those countries where it is delivered by social workers in schools, and via the ways it can enhance the social work curriculum to improve post-qualifying practice in addressing sexual violence (SV).