Why is this important?
Many sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) approaches for young people take a sexual risk perspective, emphasising the negative consequences of sexual activity, such as sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, unintended pregnancy, and sexual violence. Less emphasis has been put on the positive or healthy aspects of the development of young people´s sexuality and sexual experiences. Taboos surrounding young people´s sexuality reinforce stigma around sexual pleasure, give people an unrealistic view of what sexual wellbeing is or could be, and may disconnect how people feel and think about sex in reality.
Young people´s sexual wellbeing, including their positive sexual experiences and their evolving capacity to consent to sex, needs to be better understood in order to improve SRHR programmes.