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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 101, Issue 5, pp 374–379 | Cite as

Sexual and Reproductive Health Education: Contrasting Teachers’, Health Partners’ and Former Students’ Perspectives

  • Karen P. Phillips
  • Andrea Martinez
Qualitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Context

National guidelines recommend that Canadian sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education promote access to SRH services and effectively target SRH information to adolescents prior to their leaving secondary school. Within the context of rapidly changing health technologies (HPV vaccine, contraception innovations), SRH education can be an essential health promotion strategy targeting Canada’s youth. SRH education in publicly funded Catholic and secular (“public”) secondary schools in the National Capital Region, Canada was evaluated to determine whether it meets the standards of health promotion.

Methods

SRH strategies were collected by semi-structured interviews with 44 SRH educators: 15 public school teachers, 15 Catholic school teachers and 14 referent health partners and 31 young adults. Interview transcripts were subjected to deductive content analysis using the Information, Motivation, Behavioural Skills (IMB) model.

Results

Student uptake of SRH classroom themes (reproductive anatomy, contraceptive/condom use and risk prevention) was fairly consistent with teacher self-report. Students were encouraged to abstain from sexual activity by both public and Catholic teachers. SRH skill-building activities included relationship scenarios and facilitated access to SRH services by teachers from both Catholic and public schools, however only public schools provided condom demonstrations. Students recommended a more sex-positive education as sex was presented as an inherently negative and risky activity.

Conclusions

SRH education, framed by the IMB model and in the context of school–community health partnerships, is an effective tool for health promotion. Knowledge transfer of biomedical SRH information is effective; however improvements can be made in the promotion of SRH self-efficacy.

Key words

Health sex education sexual and reproductive health IMB model health promotion 

Résumé

Contexte

Les lignes directrices nationales recommandent que l’éducation en santé sexuelle et reproductive (SSR) au Canada favorise l’accès aux services de SSR et cible efficacement les informations destinées aux jeunes avant la fin de leurs études secondaires. Vu l’évolution rapide des technologies de la santé (vaccin contre le VPH, innovations dans le domaine de la contraception), l’éducation en SSR peut être une stratégie essentielle pour promouvoir la santé des jeunes au Canada. Nous avons évalué l’éducation en SSR offerte dans les écoles secondaires publiques (catholiques et laïques) de la région de la capitale nationale du Canada afin de déterminer si elle satisfait aux normes de promotion de la santé.

Méthode

Les données sur les stratégies d’éducation en SSR ont été recueillies par des entretiens semi-structurés avec 44 éducateurs en SSR: 15 enseignants des écoles laïques, 15 enseignants des écoles catholiques, 14 partenaires de la santé et 31 jeunes adultes. Les transcriptions des entretiens ont fait l’objet d’une analyse de contenu déductive utilisant le modèle théorique « Information, Motivation, habiletés de Comportement » (IMC).

Résultats

La compréhension des thèmes de la SSR par les élèves (anatomie de la reproduction, utilisation des méthodes contraceptives/du condom, prévention des risques) est conforme à l’auto-évaluation des enseignants. Les élèves sont encouragés à ne pas avoir de rapports sexuels, tant par les enseignants des écoles laïques que par ceux des écoles catholiques. Les activités de renforcement des compétences en SSR comprennent des scénarios de relations et facilitent l’accès aux services en SSR dans les deux secteurs (catholique et laïc). Toutefois, seules les écoles laïques offrent des démonstrations sur l’utilisation du condom. Les élèves ont recommandé que la sexualité soit présentée sous un jour plus positif et non plus comme une activité intrinsèquement négative et risquée.

Conclusion

L’éducation en SSR guidée par le modèle IMC et donnée dans le cadre de partenariats école–santé communautaire constitue un outil efficace pour la promotion de la santé. Le transfert de connaissances centrées sur l’information biomédicale est adéquat, mais des améliorations peuvent être apportées pour promouvoir de façon encore plus efficace la SSR.

Mots clés

santé éducation sexuelle santé sexuelle et reproductive modèle IMC promotion de la santé 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Institute of Population HealthUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Institute of Women’s StudiesUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  4. 4.School of International Development and Global Studies, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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