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Young people, sex and relationships

Marge Berer, RHM 41

The overarching messages from the papers in this
journal issue are that: 1) adolescents and young
people want and need sexual health information
and health care, provided with a sex-positive
approach to sex, sexuality, sexual identity and
relationships; 2) those providing it need specialist
training; and 3) adolescent and youth leadership
and involvement in policy, activities and
programmes are crucial. Adolescents and young
people want to know about HIV, STIs, pregnancy,
abortion, contraception, sexual and gender identity,
communication in relationships, menstruation,
sexual violence and coercion, stigma, bullying, discrimination.
But above all, they want to know
about sex and bodies. Remember surging hormones?
Long before they ever have sex, they want
to understand and be able to talk about these
issues with family, friends, peers. If you read this
journal issue from cover to cover, and I hope you
do, you’ll feel pummelled by these messages, as
I did, by the time you reach the end, and you
deserve to feel pummelled; we all do.

Read the complete editorial