Ready vs not ready (for sexual activity)

Time to complete Ready vs not ready (for sexual activity): 50 minutes

Year level: 9


Students discuss, consider and compare different views and perspectives on being ready for sexual activity.

Learning focus

  • Factors that shape identities and adolescent health behaviours, for example the impact of: family; societal norms; stereotypes and expectations; the media. 

  • Impact of external influences on the ability of adolescents to make healthy and safe choices relating to: sexuality; risk taking. 

  • Characteristics of respectful relationships: respecting the rights and responsibilities of individuals in the relationship; empathy.


Key understandings

enlightenedRomantic and sexual feelings are a normal part of adolescent change.

enlightenedPeople have different attitudes, values and beliefs towards sex and sexuality.

enlightenedSexual activity has physical, social, emotional and legal considerations and consequences.

enlightenedIndividuals are responsible for the decisions and choices they make regarding their sexual behaviour.



  • A4 blank paper [2 per student]
  • Teaching Resource: Conversation starter

  • Teaching Resource: Who is having sex?

General capabilities

No General Capabilities values have been selected.

Health and physical education(P)

Personal, social and community health

This strand will develop students' knowledge, understanding and skills to support a positive sense of self, to effectively respond to life events and transitions and to engage in their learning. Effective communication, decision-making and goal-setting skills are integral to this strand as they help to establish and maintain relationships in family, school, peer group and community settings, support healthy and safer behaviours, and enable advocacy. Students will source and examine a range of health information, products, services and policies, and evaluate their impact on individual and community health and safety.

Relationships and sexuality


Blooms revised taxonomy

No Blooms values have been selected.

Inquiry learning phase

No Inquiry Learning phase values have been selected.

Related items

Teaching resource (download) Guides

Before you get started

  • Begin this lesson with a reminder for students to look after themselves and their friends. If students feel uncomfortable about the subject matter, they are welcome to take a break for a drink or bathroom visit. Ensure ground rules are established before beginning this activity.

  • Self-esteem and confidence of some students may be an issue during this activity. Be reassuring and support students as they develop the ability to practise assertive “no” statements. This will help students with their resilience and emotional wellbeing development. See the Guide: Resilience and life skills for more information.

  • It is possible that a student has been involved in a traumatic experience relating to sexual abuse. Teachers should know and understand the protective interrupting technique and what, why, when and how it is needed and used before facilitating this activity. It is important that teachers are familiar with the Dealing with disclosures Guide and have a risk management strategy in place.

  • Refer to additional Guides: STIs/BBVsHealthy relationships: Gender, power and consent and Delayed sexual intercourse (abstinence) and safer sex for further content information related to this activity.

Learning activities

Whole Class

This activity starts with students considering their own values and boundaries around sexual activity and then explores relationships and readiness for sexual intercourse.

  1. Write a range of the following words (depending on the class) on the whiteboard. Have students form small groups and using a T-chart categorise each sexual activity into either “Sex” or “Not sex”:

Massage; Cuddling; Kissing; Sexting; Holding hands; Vaginal intercourse; Oral sex; Masturbation; Touching genitals; Rubbing nipples; Anal sex; Pornography

  1. Ask:

    • Which behaviours did groups agree on?

    • Which behaviours were there disagreement about?

    • Was it hard to classify these behaviours? If yes, why?

    • Was it easy for the group to come to a shared decision for each behaviour?

    • What would be a good definition of sex?

    • People have very different views about what they define as sex. What could be the implications for couples who have different definitions of sex?

  2. Stress that if someone wants to and agrees to have sexual contact, this may include things such as holding hands, kissing, caressing and other intimate activity, and that it does not have to be sexual intercourse to be pleasurable. For some people, sexual activity may be in a context of love, and for others, in certain situations, it may not. It should, however, always be in a context of trust and respect.

  3. Discuss with students the different types of sexual relationships, e.g. 'going out together', 'hooking up', 'bootie call', 'friends with benefits', ‘one night stand’ etc.

  4. Have students write down an estimate of what percentage of their peer group they think have experienced some form of sexual activity and sexual intercourse. Present the Teaching Resource: Who is having sex? outlining these statistics and discuss reactions to the survey findings.

  5. Have students brainstorm in small groups responses to the following questions:

    • How does somebody know they are ready for a relationship?

    • How does somebody know they are ready for sex?

  6. Refer to the Teaching Resource: Conversation starter as a starting point for discussing whether students are ready or not ready for sex. The statements provide a starting place for a conversation with a young person if they are considering about whether or not they are ready to begin having sex. It’s crucial that young people decide whether they are ready before someone else decides for them. This handout is based on the resource: Talk soon. Talk often. A Guide for Parents Talking to Their Kids About Sex.

Independent or Small Group

In this activity, students discuss what it looks like to be ready for sexual intercourse. These open and honest discussions about readiness and being prepared will assist students to make their own informed decisions about sexual intercourse.

  1. Provide each student with two blank A4 sheets of paper.

  2. On the first sheet, students draw a T-chart, illustrating, labelling and describing the qualities and features of an adolescent who is prepared and ready for making the choices related to having sexual intercourse.

    • What does this young person feel like and sound like? It is suggested that the teacher model the T-Chart for the adolescent who is prepared.

For example: 

Feels like... it's in the context of trust and respect and you are in control of basic aspects of your life

Sounds like... being able to communicate fully and openly about preventing infection and unwanted pregnancy.

  1. On the second sheet, students independently complete the T-chart for an adolescent who is not prepared and not ready for making the choices related to having sexual intercourse.

    • Incorporate social and emotional elements using thought bubbles and feelings vocabulary.

  1. Consider the influence that alcohol and other drugs may have upon choices made.


  1. Students share and compare their T-charts in small groups or in pairs.  Promote discussion about common features, realism of concepts, accuracy, etc.


  • How would you discuss contraception options with your partner?

  • How would you deal/cope/feel if you found out you and your partner were pregnant?

  • You and your partner have been sexually active for a few months now. You are not enjoying it as much as you thought you would. What do you do?

  1. Group the ‘ready' and ‘not ready' charts together and discuss as a whole class.

  2. Identify the most common indicators of readiness and highlight the most frequently used vocabulary to describe feelings. Consider that sounds can also indicate consent. 


External related resources

The practical guide to love, sex and relationships 

A teaching resource from the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University.

Year 7/8

Topic 7: Sexual and reproductive health

  • Revision of STIs, BBVs, contraception, conception and sexual safety
  • Some of the material is sensitive - consider whether your students are ready for this discussion. 

Year 9/10

Topic 1 - Introducing Love, Sex and Relationships

  • Ethical framework for love, sex and relationships
  • Decision making
  • Sexuality timeline- what it the average of: first sexual feelings, falling in love, identifying as gay/straight/bisexual, drinking alcohol, learning about sex at school, etc.

Topic 2 -  Love, etc

  • Elements of healthy relationships

Topic 3 - Sexual diversity

  • words used for different sexual identities
  • homophobia
  • empathy building

Topic 4 – The truth about desire

  • What does it mean to ‘be sexual’
  • Gender stereotypes and sexual feelings

Topic 5 – When is the right time?

  • Factors that contribute to positive sexual experiences
  • Ethical relationships and ethical sex

Topic 6 – Comfort zones

  • Different ideals about what a sexual experience should be
  • Pressures and options

Topic 7 – Communication

  • verbal  and no-verbal consent in sex
  • checking in with your partner

Topic 8 – Consent and the law

  • Real-life scenarios for problem solving and decision-making
  • Sexual assault
  • Consent
  • Rights and responsibilities

Topic 9 – STIs – getting tested

  • social issues and attitudes towards relationships and STIs
  • managing sexual health
  • how to access services

Topic 10 – Can you get pregnant from…

  • conception revision
  • contraception choices, facts and stats
  • real-life scenarios