Sexual and reproductive health education for young people in Victoria, Australia: a mixed methods study

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Abstract

Young people aged >15 years (Years 11 and 12 students) in Australia are unlikely to receive school-based sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education. The aims of this study were to gather the perspectives of young people regarding their experiences of school-based SRH education and explore what they considered should be the core components of this form of education for Years 11 and 12 students. A mixed-methods study involving an online survey (n = 1226) and six workshops (n = 20) was undertaken in Victoria, Australia between September and November 2021. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the survey data. Qualitative workshop transcripts were coded before five themes and three sub-themes were identified. Participants reported feeling let down by the inadequate provision of SRH education at school. Those who had received SRH education in Years 11 and 12 were more likely to report they left school with enough knowledge to protect their SRH. Participants reported wanting SRH education in Years 11 and 12 and described some of the strategies that schools can adopt to make this possible without compromising other learning priorities. Further work is required to clarify the best way forward in this respect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-600
Number of pages16
JournalSex Education
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • mixed-methods
  • school-based education
  • Sexual and reproductive health
  • sexuality education

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