Challenging ethno-cultural and sexual inequities: an intersectional feminist analysis of teachers, health partners and university student' views on adolescent sexual and reproductive health rights

Martinez, Andrea; Phillips, Karen P.
June 2008
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2008, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p141
Academic Journal
Research on sexual health education has lacked a critical analysis of the implementation of curricula through the lens of human rights. Drawing on feminist theories we explore how sexual health education incorporates the intersections of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) with social structuring factors (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity and sexual identities), and the role of sexual health education in young adults' construction and assertion of their own SRH rights. Based on 75 interviews with teachers, health partners and undergraduate university students from the National Capital Region, this paper documents the tensions resulting from a biomedical, risk-centred application of the Ontario Health and Physical Education curriculum and the noteworthy absence of strategies to address SRH inequities of gender, race/ethnicity and sexual identities. Despite some efforts from the health sector to promote an SRH rights-based approach, our findings reveal that Ottawa area teachers and young adults are ill- equipped to articulate SRH rights, and may therefore be unable to prevent gender stereotypic, racialized or homophobic constructions of adolescent sexuality.


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