The group had talked about how behaviours are changing fast within their age group. We wanted to be able to open up this discusion so we decided to give them a list of behaviours which they talked about changing e.g. becoming more aggressive, beginning of boy-girl relationships and ask them to plot on a timeline when they thought they began.
We also included some questions about technology as the conversation had highlighted some vulnerabilities around online behaviour. As they were saying boys changed in a different way from girls we wanted to get the boys and girls to plot separately so we could compare.
The behaviours we chose were:
- Stop holding hands with an opposite sex friend in public.
- Start talking to other girls about the way boys look (and boys/girls)
- Start to worry about their own looks.
- Start to feel they ought to have a girlfriend/boyfriend
- First own a mobile phone
- First see an indecent image
- Start sexting
- Start watching pornography
- First time someone they have met online asks to meet them
- Stop trying to do well at school
- Start getting involved in serious fights
- Start being more aggressive
- Being cool starts to be very important.
We debated our choice of relationship behaviours because we realised they presumed heterosexuality but we decided to go with them because they were based directly on the conversations the young people had had with us and we wanted the ideas to be from them.
We set the age range from 3 – 19 years doubting they would need such a big spread but not wanting to limit them.
Each gender group was given a timeline and one strip of paper with each of the 13 behaviours on it.