All upper secondary school students play Fair Sex: the Network

Mikael Elias Theoretical Upper Secondary School is located close to Kronhuset in central Gothenburg, where ethical issues are integrated in school activities. When the educational tool and web game “Fair Sex: the Network” was completed last fall, it was natural for Mikael Elias to allocate time for all students to enter the fictitious world of the game in order to test their values regarding sex, relationships and ethics.

All classes read the two different stories about Crina and Mikaela who have one thing in common: they are both victims of sexual abuse. Crina was forced to sell sex in Sweden, Mikaela has been raped and objected to violations online. The player faces a number of thought provoking questions and is inspired to take a moral stand.

Wafaa Folkesson, a teacher at Mikael Elias upper secondary school, says that the theme is important among youths and that it is essential to inform and contribute to a change in attitude in issues regarding sex.

“It is important that change starts here in schools and then relates to sex and relationships in real life. The benefits of a game are that it promotes engagement, interest and empathy.”

The guidance from teachers has been a great support in the following discussions pertaining to both reflective and interpretative questions.

“All students have discussed the questions after. One of the classes also chose to write down and sum up their reflections. The impressions are reinforced and can persist when you put them into words.”

Thoughts addressed where different expectations placed on boys and girls when it comes to sex. Students believe that pornography can paint a lopsided picture where “men are superior and women should follow”. The game exposes societal norms and at the end of “Fair Sex: the Network” students are encouraged to become agents in real life and take a stand for fairness and human rights. The students at Mikael Elias have continued the theme on several occasions.

Fair Sex: the Network is developed by RealStars in collaboration with Pedagogiskt Centrum (Educational Centrum) and is funded by Allmänna Arvsfonden (Swedish Inheritance Fund). Fair Sex: the Network is a game created for upper secondary school students and exists to highlight issues on equality, sex, trafficking and prostitution. Is there a connection between trafficking and our attitudes towards equality and sex?