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Sexual Responsibilities

Introduction

The United Nation Committee on Human Rights has affirmed that sexual and reproductive health is integral elements of the right of everyone to attain highest standard of physical and mental well being. Teenagers need to understand their sexual responsibilities, to respect the rights to freedom of choice, pleasure and protection of their sexual partners.

Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships. Adolescent should be able to have pleasant and safe sexual experiences free of coercion, discrimination, or violence. They have the right to be informed and have access to appropriate health care services.

The goals for adolescents’ sexual/reproductive health is beyond the prevention of STIs, HIV infection, unwanted pregnancy, it should include promoting sexual health and adolescent development, healthy relationships and responsible behaviour.

The following are five principles of sexual responsibility:

  1. To get adequate sexual knowledge and information

    Teenagers have the obligation to acquire the information, education and means on their sexuality which include their sexual and reproductive health.

    Adequate sexual knowledge and information will influence decision on initiation of sexual activity and lower the risk of unhealthy, unwanted pregnancy and protection against sexually transmitted infections.

    Information about sexual health can be given by a responsible adult and reliable source of information to ensure teenager get accurate information which will influence sexual behaviour and decision making.

    The following are reliable sources for health information :

    http://MyHealthPortal
    http://patient.co.uk
    http://betterhealth.vic.gov.au
    http://kidshealth.org

  2. Practicing positive family values to sexual socialization and sexual behaviour

    Unsafe sexual practices and unwanted pregnancy are significant health issues among teenagers.  They get the information about sexual health from discussion with their mother, female friends, school sexual health program and talking to their doctor. Parents need to build more active role in addressing positive sexual responsibility and sexual issues with their teenage children.

    Tips on healthy sexual behaviour :

    A teenager must affirm or declare within themselves that :

    • My life and my family values are more important than the approval of someone else

    • I deserve to be with someone who cares about what I think and value

    • I choose not to risk getting pregnant

    • I choose not to include in risky behaviour which will harm my future

  3. Protecting one another from abuse and exploitation

    Every teenager have the right to make responsible sexual choices and protection against bodily harm to themselves and their sexual partners. They should be taught on sexual exploitation, abuse and safety and to disclose any negative incidents to a responsible adult.

  4. Ability to control sexual decision making

    Discuss with a responsible adult in ways to deal with unwanted sexual pressure, including peer pressure and practice skill in communication about sexual consequences with their partner.

    Teenager needs to learn on how to control their sexuality and able to choose a partner who is responsible and respectful to avoid unwanted sexual outcomes.

    Sexual and peer pressure causes teenagers to make unwise choices. The best antidote to unhealthy peer pressure is having high self esteem.

    The following self esteem affirmations and refusal skills can help teenager to resist sexual and peer pressure.

    Tips on dealing with sexual pressure :

    A teenager must affirm or declare within themselves that :

    • I can be myself and still be part of a group

    • I can say “NO” to things that I feel are scary and dangerous

    • I can say “NO” when people ask me to do something illegal, dishonest or against my belief and against my cultural values.

    • I do what is best for me and make my own choices regardless of what my friends think

  5. Creating respectful, mutually healthy and responsible relationship

    Our cultural and religious values emphasize respectful and responsible relationship between man and women. Every teenager need to practice and learn to behave responsibly in maintaining mutually healthy relationship.

References

  1. Towards a sexual ethics of rights and responsibilities

    Ruth Dixon-Mueller, Adrienne Germain, Beth Fredrick, Kate Bourne; Reproductive Health Matters 2009;17(33):111–119

  2. Male Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Care

    Arik V. Marcell, Charles Wibbelsman, Warren M. Seigel and the Committee on adolescence Pediatrics 2011;128;e1658; originally published online November 28, 2011; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-2384

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/128/6/e1658.full.html

Last Reviewed : 7 April 2014
Content Writer : Dr. Salmah binti Nordin