Fall 2004

H e a l t h   P r o m o t i o n
Report offers insight into adolescent sexual health


A report from Planned Parenthood and the Women’s Health Network is a valuable resource for physicians and other health professionals working with adolescents.

     A report from Planned Parenthood Newfoundland and Labrador, prepared in partnership with the province’s Women’s Health Network, is a valuable resource for physicians and other health professionals working with adolescents, according to Annette Johns, Planned Parenthood’s executive director.
     The research report, a province-wide initiative funded by the Status of Women Canada entitled: Adolescent Sexual Decision-Making in Newfoundland and Labrador**, was released this past spring.
     The study explored adolescent sexual decision-making and the factors that influence sexual decisions, said Johns, noting that adolescents and professionals who work with adolescents, including physicians, participated in the study.
     The objectives of the study included:
  • The identification of adolescent sexual concerns and behaviors.
  • Identification of gaps in existing supports for adolescent sexual decision-making.
  • Provision of recommendations to address adolescent sexual health needs.
  • Provision of a foundation for the development of a network of individuals, women’s groups, community organizations and government departments concerned with the promotion of optimal adolescent sexual health.

     “The report offers important insight into the issues influencing adolescent sexual decision-making and presents much needed evidence to further advocate for the development of an effective provincial strategy to promote informed, healthy adolescent sexual decision-making and behaviors in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Johns.
     The report made 19 recommendations to improve sexual health in Newfoundland and Labrador and will be used as a tool for informing public policy, said Johns. “These recommendations include conducting a comprehensive review and evaluation of sexual health education in schools, implementing mandatory sexual health education that begins at the primary level, educating adolescents, parents and professionals about the age of consent and establishing sexual health centres throughout the province.”
     “Sexual health is such an important part of adolescence and often we as professionals are not sure how to approach this topic with adolescents,” said Johns. “In this report, we hear from adolescents themselves on how sexual health education and support can be improved in this province, giving personal insight into what they would like to see from professionals,” Johns concluded.


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