A recent Y4Y report on "Youth Perceptions, Experiences, and Attitudes towards Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare Services in Québec" has shed light on the challenges faced by young individuals (ages 16-30) in accessing adequate sexual and reproductive healthcare. One major finding from this research underscores the necessity for comprehensive and improved sexuality education in high schools.
Participants in the study expressed significant knowledge gaps and barriers related to sexual and reproductive health. They emphasised the inadequacy of current educational approaches, citing incomplete information, outdated content, and a lack of real-life, practical knowledge. To address these concerns, the youth themselves have called for reforms in sexuality education within our secondary school systems.
Y4Y calls on Education Minister Bernard Drainville to take immediate action in devising a plan in:
- Comprehensive and Inclusive Curriculum: Implement a comprehensive and inclusive sexuality education curriculum that goes beyond biology and legalities. Youth advocate for real-life information, addressing cultural, social, and mental health dimensions.
- Youth Involvement: Include youth voices in the development and evaluation of sexuality education programs. Their perspectives are invaluable in creating content that resonates with their diverse experiences.
- Increased Awareness: Launch awareness campaigns within high schools to reduce stigma surrounding sexual and reproductive health. Visibility of services should be enhanced to ensure that all youth are aware of available resources.
- Professional Training: Provide training for educators to deliver sensitive, unbiased, and inclusive sexuality education. This includes addressing diverse identities and experiences, fostering trust, and creating a welcoming atmosphere.