This explorative and quantitative study, commissioned by Dance4Life and executed by Avance Impact, explores the connection between empowerment, relationships and sexuality among nearly 2,500 young people in four countries from different continents. Unprotected sex is the greatest health risk facing young people worldwide.
Many young people live in a society in which sex and sexuality continue to be surrounded by taboos and stigmas. In addition, the issue of seriously inappropriate or aggressive sexual behaviour is becoming ever more visible in the Netherlands and elsewhere. Dance4Life believes in encouraging openness about all aspects of sexuality and wishes to gain a better understanding how personal empowerment, self-confidence, and the social and emotional skills that enable young people to make responsible choices about all aspects of their lives, are interconnected.
Dance4Life asked Avance Impact to do an explorative study on the concept of empowerment – a key foundation on which our work is build. The research questions were: what does empowerment mean to you (I), do you feel empowered yourself (II), and which aspects of empowerment help you in making choices in relationships and regarding sexuality issues (III)? Between October to November 2018, the researchers surveyed 2,434 young (age between 15 and 21 years old) people about the concept of empowerment: 574 from The Netherlands, 602 from Kenya, 667 from Russia and 591 from Indonesia. The results of this explorative study give a unique first insight in how young people think about empowerment and in what they find important in making (sexual) choices.