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Young Cypriots on sex education: sources and adequacy of information received on sexuality issues
Noverna Consulting and Research Ltd, Nicosia, Cyprus.
Dept of Public Health, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH). (Essén)
2008 (English)In: Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, ISSN 1468-1811, E-ISSN 1472-0825, Vol. 8, no 2, 237-246 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: In the absence of standardised sex education and because schools usually limit their teaching to the 'health' aspects of sexuality, young people in Cyprus rely on their peers and the media for information on sexuality. This study examines the sources and adequacy of the information received by young people from various sources on matters related to sexuality and sexual health. Method: Twelve in-depth interviews were conducted in Cyprus in 2005 with purposively chosen boys and girls aged 15-18 years using a semi-structured discussion guide. The interviews focused on participants' knowledge of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, safer sex, contraception and abortion. They also explored attitudes and beliefs concerning relationships, homosexuality and mutual consent. Results: Information about sexual health is primarily received from school in classes that interviewees considered dull or irrelevant. Television, and to a lesser degree magazines, were the main sources of information on sexual relationships, the sexual act, homosexuality and abortion. Sexually transmitted infection knowledge was limited and often erroneous, while attitudes towards contraception use, abortion and homosexuality suggest that negative stereotypes are widespread. Conclusions: Because the information young people receive on sexuality appears to be inadequate, there is an urgent need to implement comprehensive, evidence-based sex education in the public schools. It should also address the nature and content of the sexual and reproductive health messages received from peers and the media.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 8, no 2, 237-246 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-87308DOI: 10.1080/14681810801981381OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-87308DiVA: diva2:31702
Available from: 2008-10-02 Created: 2008-10-02 Last updated: 2010-06-08Bibliographically approved

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