Post Unit Reflection

R.E. Year 10 Identity & Relationships

By Erin Barnden

Sexual Intimacy...

The Catholic Church teaches that human sexuality is a great gift, sexual intimacy is at it's best within marriage, and that sexual acts have to respect the dignity of the people involved. Sexual intimacy includes the physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual parts of an individual and sexual acts are unitive as well as procreative, they bring a couple together and have the potential to create new life. The Church teaches us these things because we all have rights, responsibilities and value, and because we all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity no matter the situation.

Informed Conscience...

A person’s conscience is the inner voice that tells them the best option for any decision and in any situation. It is the most inner core of a person, and a sanctuary for them to be alone with their thoughts. It is the judgement of reason that a person uses to recognise the moral quality of an act. Our conscience tells us to love, do what is right and not what is wrong. An informed conscience is a person’s instincts that allow them to make decisions taking in to account all possible consequences, gains and outcomes. We need an informed conscience to get the best out of life and everyday situations. Without this informed conscience, we would make the wrong decisions, which we would end up regretting.


The Catholic Church teaches that sexual intercourse is something that should be shared within marriage, so it encourages abstinence outside of this bond. In saying this, there are many different types of contraceptives that are available with varying degrees of effectiveness. Some common ones are oral contraceptives, the ‘morning after pill’ and condoms. Oral contraceptives contain synthetic hormones to give the body the illusion of pregnancy so ovulation is prevented. it is a very effective method of contraception and can reduce cramping caused by menstruation. It can have negative side effects such as nausea and weight gain. The ‘morning after pill’ is a high dosage of oral contraceptive taken after intercourse, it’s most effective when used straight away after unprotected sex. It is a good last minute option because it’s about 98% effective and it can be used following sexual assault. A condom is a thin piece of latex designed to fit over and erect penis during intercourse, it prevents pregnancy by collecting sperm and stopping it from entering the other person’s body. They are much more effective when used with a spermicide, used to kill sperm, and they reduce the risk of contracting STI’s. There are no side effects and they're available to purchase from a variety of outlets.

What is important in a healthy relationship?

In a healthy relationship there is a reciprocal sense of loyalty, care and respect. A healthy relationship involves people who feel that they can speak their mind and opinions, and are listened to. Relationships are built on honesty and trust, so healthy ones don’t have lies, duplicity and betrayal. Good and healthy relationships are ones where you feel that you can be yourself without being judged, teased or ostracised. In a healthy relationship you don’t feel left out or second best, instead you are included and appreciated. There isn’t any kind of abuse - verbal or physical. When you are in a healthy relationship, you know you can tell the other person anything in confidence and vise versa. Compromise is very important in relationships as they cannot function without it, as well as admitting when something is your fault and saying sorry where it is due. Tolerance is important in a relationship because everyone has flaws and no one is perfect. Joint decision making is another important factor in relationships because if one person is making all the decisions in a relationship, the relationship quickly becomes unhealthy. Being considerate of other peoples interests, opinions and beliefs is another aspect of a healthy relationship. It is important to be able to make amends if the relationship is not going so well, not just let it go, but fix it and make it stronger. Knowing when to let something slide, be it an insensitive remark or even a joke, is another important trait in a relationship, it’s easier than starting a row and doesn’t hurt anyone.