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No health without sexual health; no education without sexual health education

No health without sexual health; no education without sexual health education

Evans, David Thomas ORCID: 0000-0001-6874-3845 (2017) No health without sexual health; no education without sexual health education. In: The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 23rd Congress of the World Association for Sexual Health, 14 (5). Elsevier, e291-e292. ISSN 1743-6095 (Print), 1743-6109 (Online) (doi:

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No health without sexual health; no education without sexual health education

• Introduction

This presentation demonstrates learning opportunities from multi-professional research of healthcare practitioners. Since completing the study (Evans 2011), implications for practice have been strategically addressed locally, nationally and sometimes internationally.

• Rationale
Sex, sexualities and sexual health are fundamental dimensions of life-long personal and social well-being (WAS 2014). Research indicates a mis-match between holistic “wider curriculum” philosophies (WHO, 2006), and erotophobic barriers to therapeutic well-being. Andragogical (adult learning) methodologies help overcome such barriers. The result: efficient education for health professionals addressing sexual dimensions of human personhood in those they care for (SCIE, 2011).

• Action
The study actioned a three-dimensional, ‘triptych’, model of learning for clinical practice (Evans 2013): 1) holistic dimensions of sexual health; 2) aspects of sex, sexualities or sexual health impacted by other conditions, and 3) problems and sexual ill-health: sexual infections, psychosexual matters and unplanned / unwanted conceptions.

• Outcomes
Triptych-wide learning across all health professional curricula at the presenter’s Institution.
A ‘therapeutic use of self’ style teaching, which safely transformed a learner’s homophobia, resulting in improvements for mental health nurse-patient relations (Evans, 2016).
Dissemination of findings, advancing multi-professional learning, nationally and internationally.

• Discussion & recommendations
Many practitioners access specialist learning; others receive reductionistic training (Jayasuriya and Dennick, 2011; ECDC, 2013). The wider-world healthcare population receives little or no formal sex, sexualities or sexual health learning (Astbury-Ward, 2011). Curricula gaps in ‘knowledge, attitudes, skills and habits’ (Griffith and Burns, 2014) impact clinical abilities to deal proactively and effectively with client need. Recommendations include developing sex-positive and enthusiastic teachers and clinicians; encouraging and inspiring them to challenge barriers to sexual health learning and care provision; building strategic inter-professional alliances, and mainstreaming (Attwood, 2009) the quality and quantity of sex-related education across higher education curricula and fields of clinical practice.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: The Journal of Sexual Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: Inter-Professional Health Education; Wider Sexual Curriculum; Holistic Care;
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Health & Society Research Group
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Health Sciences (HEA)
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Last Modified: 07 Oct 2021 21:02

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