Published in the journal for Sexual Reproductive Health Matters, a new paper by Anna Kågesten from Karolinska Institute in Sweden and Miranda van Reeuwijk from Rutgers, presents six key competencies for healthy adolescent sexuality development.
Researcher Miranda van Reeuwijk says on the new report, “In searching for a way to better evaluate the outcomes of a CSE programme for very young adolescents in Indonesia; we wanted to know how CSE improves a sense of sexual wellbeing in relation to self and others, for instance, in building mutually respectful relationships (so less teasing and bullying for younger adolescents). This is even more important as they grow older and engage in romantic and sexual relationships, and where the quality of the relationship matters. Including freedom from violence and coercion, as well as safe, consensual sex. So, with that in mind we started to review the literature, get input from experts and identified six core competencies that we think are important to support adolescents to develop and achieve a sense of sexual wellbeing”
The six key competencies identified for healthy adolescent sexuality development are: (1) sexual literacy, (2) gender-equal attitudes, (3) respect for human rights and understanding consent, (4) critical reflection skills, (5) coping skills, and (6) interpersonal skills.
Co-author Anna Kågesten underscores that “this holistic perspective – is also supported by international consensus and discussions on sexuality – like WHOs definition of what sexuality entails. So, we are not coming up with something new here. It is really building on what other scholars and researchers and experts in the field have said on what healthy sexuality development entails.”