Perceptions of sexuality and sexual health among young people in the Netherlands

A. Grauvogl, S.E. Stutterheim, S.M.A.A. Evers, J.J.D.M. van Lankveld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Sexual health problems are not uncommon among young people in the Netherlands and finding the proper treatment for such problems is often challenging. More insight regarding young people's perceptions of sexuality and its associated problems is needed to improve both treatment and education. This qualitative study of 22 young people (aged 13 to 25 years) explored perceptions of sexuality and sexual health. The results show that sexuality is narrowly defined by young people, with focus clearly being placed on physical aspects of sexuality, and sexual intercourse in particular. Sexual problems are usually defined as physical or medical problems. The data show that participants had limited knowledge regarding sexual problems associated with sexual functioning. Schools, parents and culture all appear to play a role in perceptions of sexuality and sexual health. In their totality, the findings suggest that knowledge about the complexity of sexuality and sexual health is lacking among young people in the Netherlands. We recommend broader sexual health education programs in schools that include the discussion of multiple aspects of sexuality, including pleasure. We also suggest that parents take a more prominent role in educating their children about sexuality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-121
JournalSexual and Relationship Therapy
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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