Working with young people - towards an agenda for sexual health


In this paper the authors outline key elements of a human rights-based framework for sexual health promotion that takes account of young people's needs and interests. This framework is located against the backdrop of a critique of the way in which negative definitions of 'sexual health' and of 'adolescence', as well as restrictions on open and appropriate sex education in schools, undermine the likelihood that young people will achieve optimal benefit from existing services and strategies in countries such as England and Scotland. Central to their analysis is an affirming and positive definition of sexual health-that focuses on the attainment of sexual pleasure and which links sexuality to an expression of individual and collective needs and broader human rights and responsibilities. The authors point to ways in which such a framework might inform the provision of appropriate information about positive sexual health, and of more accessible and integrated sexual health services. They also highlight the need for measures to improve young people's confidence and aspirations, and to increase youth participation in decision making in matters relating not only to their sexual health, but also to the wider social and community environments within which young people's sexuality is negotiated.


Aggleton, P.; Campbell, C. Working with young people - towards an agenda for sexual health. Sexual and Relationship Therapy (2000) 15 (3) 283-296. [DOI: 10.1080/14681990050109863]

Working with young people - towards an agenda for sexual health

Published 1 January 2000