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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 47–51 | Cite as

Teen Sexuality

Reaching Out in the Malls
  • Sheila J. Evans
  • Bonnie L. Wright
  • Lauren Goodbrand
  • Jeff P. Kilbreath
  • Jennifer Young
Article

Abstract

Background

Existing sexual health programs have not significantly reduced teen pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases. A more creative approach is needed.

Methods

An assessment of 539 teens in one Ontario city was conducted to identify knowledge about and use of birth control, comfort in discussing sexual health, and preferred sites, providers and methods of service delivery.

Results

Knowledge of, and comfort discussing, birth control was not associated with frequency of use but was associated with grade. Adolescents were less comfortable discussing sexual health with teachers than health professionals. Over time, comfort increased with health professionals, but not teachers. Sexually active teens reported willingness to attend mall-based clinics.

Conclusions

Using birth control appears to be maturational given its association with grade. Since teens were consistently less comfortable with teachers, providing sexual health services in schools is likely ineffective. Teens may respond to clinics in creative settings such as malls.

Résumé

Contexte

Les programmes de santé sexuelle existants n’ont pas réduit de façon importante la grossesse chez les adolescentes et les maladies transmises sexuellement, d’où la nécessité de trouver des approches novatrices.

Méthode

Nous avons sondé 539 adolescents d’une ville ontarienne pour déterminer leurs connaissances et leur emploi des méthodes anticonceptionnelles, leur aisance à parler de santé sexuelle et leurs préférences quant aux lieux où obtenir des services de santé sexuelle, aux prestateurs de ces services et aux méthodes de prestation.

Résultats

Les connaissances et l’aisance n’étaient pas associées à la fréquence d’utilisation des méthodes anticonceptionnelles, mais au niveau de scolarité. Les adolescents étaient moins enclins à discuter de santé sexuelle avec des enseignants qu’avec des professionnels de la santé. Ils devenaient graduellement plus à l’aise avec les professionnels de la santé, mais pas avec les enseignants. Les adolescents actifs sexuellement étaient disposés à visiter des cliniques de centres commerciaux.

Conclusions

L’emploi des méthodes anticonceptionnelles étant associé au niveau de scolarité, il pourrait être lié à la maturation. Comme les adolescents sont uniformément moins à l’aise avec les enseignants, il n’est sans doute pas efficace d’offrir des services de santé sexuelle à l’école. Il serait préférable de créer des cliniques dans des endroits moins conventionnels, comme les centres commerciaux.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheila J. Evans
    • 1
  • Bonnie L. Wright
    • 2
  • Lauren Goodbrand
    • 3
  • Jeff P. Kilbreath
    • 3
  • Jennifer Young
    • 3
  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of Western OntarioCanada
  2. 2.Middlesex-London Health Unit, when project conducted. Current affiliation: Public Health Research and Education Development ProgramMiddlesex-London Health Unit and the University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  3. 3.BScN graduates, School of NursingUniversity of Western OntarioCanada

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