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Let’s Talk About Sexual Health Education: Youth Perspectives on their Learning Experiences in Canada

4 February 2021

Publication Date
04 Fébruary 2021

Original Abstract

Education, and by extension, school-based sexual health education for youth, falls under provincial and territorial jurisdiction in Canada, creating a tapestry of educational experiences across the country. Previous research has found general support for providing sexual health education in schools as reported by teachers, parents, and college/university students. The current study further explores this topic through an examination of the perspectives and opinions of high-school aged youth. The purpose of this study was to develop knowledge to better understand sexual health education experiences in Canada and help determine the extent to which youth feel informed and well supported to develop and maintain their sexual health and participate in healthy sexual and/or romantic relationships. Twelve focus groups were conducted with youth (ages 12–19) across Canada and the transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis. A total of 10 themes were identified related to what and how youth would like to learn, including four themes about the context and delivery of sexual health education and six themes about the content of sexual health education. Study findings highlight the need for youth perspectives when developing, implementing and evaluating sexual health education and provide insight to help inform recommendations for where educational improvements are warranted.

Laverty, E. K., Noble, S. M., Pucci, A. & MacLean, R. E. D. (2021). Let’s talk about sexual health education: Youth perspectives on their learning experiences in Canada. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. https://doi.org/10.3138/cjhs.2020-0051

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comprehensive sexual health education, focus group, sexual health, sexual health education, youth


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