The importance of a positive approach to sexuality in sexual health programmes for unmarried adolescents in Bangladesh

van Reeuwijk, Miranda van and Nahar, Papreen (2013) The importance of a positive approach to sexuality in sexual health programmes for unmarried adolescents in Bangladesh. Reproductive Health Matters, 21. pp. 69-77. ISSN 0968-8080

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This article explores the mismatch that exists between what unmarried adolescents in Bangladesh experience, want and need in regard to their sexuality and what they receive from their society, which negatively impacts on their understanding of sexuality and their well-being. The findings provide a picture of Bangladeshi adolescents' (12-18 years) sexual feelings, experiences, behaviours, anxieties and concerns - in particular in relation to desire, pleasure, sexual power, masturbation, virginity, romantic love and dating, and arranged marriage - and how socio-sexual norms and taboos influence these. Curiosity of boys and girls about sex was driven by a need and desire to know and understand, but also because it was exciting to read about and talk about sex. Young people are not just passive recipients of adult norms and messages around sexuality, but agents who actively construe meanings and navigate between what is expected from them and what they want, need and feel themselves. Adolescents have a need for information and support - long before they ever have sex. We call for a positive, rights-based approach to sexuality education for adolescents and a focus beyond health outcomes alone to support adolescents and young people to make sense of the multiplicity of messages they encounter and reduce unnecessary feelings of guilt and anxiety. © 2013 Reproductive Health Matters.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Adolescent;Adolescent Behavior;Adult;Anxiety;Bangladesh;Female;Humans;Interpersonal Relations;Male;Menstruation;Reproductive Health;Sex Education;Sexual Behavior;Sexuality
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Global Health and Infection
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2023 10:39
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2023 10:39
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