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New approaches in sexuality education in Finland

New approaches in sexuality education in Finland

The experience from Finland reflects the interconnectedness of school-based sexuality education and the availability of sexual health services in response to the needs of the population. Sexuality education became obligatory in schools in 1970. In 2004 a new subject ‘health education’ was introduced in most schools, and has been obligatory since 2006. Health education in Finland includes theoretical, social, emotional, functional and ethical skills along with information acquisition skills. Health competence involves the ability to assume responsibility for the promotion of one’s own health and that of other people.

From age 7-12 health education is integrated into environmental and natural studies. At age 13-15 a total of 114 lessons over 3 years are taught as an independent ‘health education’ subject. Sexuality education is a part of this, with a mean of 20 lessons, and includes human relations, sexuality, behaviour, values and norms. Students’ knowledge of this field is assessed as for any other topic.
After the introduction of the new curriculum, self reported use of contraception among adolescents increased, the percentage who started to have intercourse by the age 15 decreased (STAKES annual school health surveys), and the rate of abortions among 15-19-year olds again gradually decreased, from 16.3 in 2002 to 12.7 in 2008.
Having a clearly stated national curriculum thus supported the improvement of sexual health indicators. After introduction of the national curriculum specific teacher training also ensued. Education and comprehensive sexual health services are needed and the political will to provide both.

Speakers: Dr Dan Apter
Conference: WAS Glasgow 2011
Areas of Interest / Categories: Sexual Health Care, WAS 2011

WAS 2011

Trauma Relief: An Integrated Approach for Working with Sexually Abused Clients

Sexually traumatized patients often have problems with flashbacks, nightmares and avoidance. This workshop teaches an integrated method for trauma relief, combining knowledge from NLP, psycho dynamic therapy, cognitive therapy and modern trauma research. The method is based on the human memory storing system, which functions in the same way in all human beings. This means that the method easily can be used cross-culturally and for all gender combinations.

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Some Biblical Principles for Sexuality

To explore how sexual health and sexual ethics are represented in the Bible and how these are relevant to the 21st century. God created humans as physical and relational beings. Sexuality is a good, healthy element of that created physical relatedness, with three functions: relational bonding; mutual pleasure; and procreation. The biblical pattern for sexual expression which best accords with these functions is heterosexual monogamy.

Sexual health Public health

How should the Public Health Model be applied so it really contributes to improved sexual health for all?  Public Health recognizes three levels of prevention - Primary, Secondary and Tertiary.  Primary prevention involves prevention of the disease or injury itself, Fluoride, Immunization, Education to avoid smoking and substance abuse. Secondary prevention blocks the progression of an injury or disease from an impairment to a disability. An impairment has already occurred, but disability may be prevented through early intervention.

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The limits of school-based sex education: Lessons from rigorous evaluations in the UK

The UK has among the highest teenage pregnancy and STI rates in Western Europe and strategies to reduce these outcomes have a high priority. This paper seeks to draw lessons from the rigorous evaluations of three sexual health initiatives: SHARE (a cluster randomised trial (CRT) of teacher-delivered sex education), RIPPLE (CRT of peer-delivered school sex education) and Healthy Respect Phase 2 (a quasi-experimental study of a multi-component Scottish national sexual health demonstration project encompassing youth friendly sexual health drop-ins, social marketing, branding, a parenting component and SHARE).

UNESCO Symposium: Cost, Cost-effectiveness and Scale-up of Sexuality Education

This symposium will focus on presentation of the results and discussion of a ground-breaking study into the cost and cost-effectiveness of sexuality education (SE) in six countries, commissioned by UNESCO in 2010. Why an economic analysis? Policy-makers all over the world, involved in decisions on school-based sexuality education (SE) programmes, are facing three important economic questions: what are the costs of developing the programmes, what are the costs of implementing and scaling up the programmes, and do the programmes provide value for money?