An Analysis of Sexual Health in New Zealand Youth Essay

3712 Words Jun 21st, 2012 15 Pages
Why are increased levels of sexual education in schools not reducing rates of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in New Zealand adolescents?

Although sexual health is a component of our national curriculum, and so is taught in all New Zealand high schools, there are still concernedly high rates of unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections in New Zealand adolescents. A multidisciplinary approach can be used to uncover the potential reasons behind this gap between intervention and outcome. This essay will use the perspectives of health geographers, psychologists and sociologists to explore the phenomenon, and will show how multidisciplinary research is useful when considering a topic such as
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Because sexual education classes also offer little opportunity for class discussion, and rarely provide resources for outside reading (Yingying, 2009), students receive a limited content that is purely biological and impersonal. According to Kearns (1993), impersonal health services can promote a sense of placelessness and develop negative connotations for users. Applying this to the sexual education context, the factual and impersonal messages presented in schools may detriment a student’s sense of belonging, therefore decreasing their absorption of safe sex messages. In addition, the emphasis on biology can make sexual health education boring for students, meaning that the lessons taught will be likely ignored (Coleman et al., 2010).
Other than just the style and type of sexual health messages, the way such messages are presented may discourage interaction from and within the group of interest (Kearns, 1993). Although school administrators and workers generally have a positive view of sex and sexuality (Coleman et al., 2010), most teachers do not receive professional training in the sexual health field (Yingying et al., 2009). A lack of knowledge or acceptance in teachers can impair positive class environments. For example, research in New Zealand found that students noticed avoidance of gay and lesbian sexuality topics by their teachers, and perceived

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