Monday, 12 February 2007

Contraceptive awareness week

This week is Contraceptive Awareness Week: an important opportunity to reflect on what more needs to be done to help people of all ages take control of their contraceptive choices, as well as welcoming the progress that has been made over the past 40 years or so.

We are still taking two steps forward and one step back. Currently we are seeing the constant threat to community contraceptive services as a result of the NHS funding crisis. This is an issue for us all. We must not let it happen without protest. It is short sighted and irresponsible, with undoubted personal, social and economic costs over time.

In this changing policy context, one fact remains true – far too many young people are growing up without the education, support and services to help them enjoy and take responsibility for their sexual choices and well being. In Contraceptive Awareness Week 2007, why not identify at least one thing you can do personally or professionally to promote an open and positive culture about sex, sexuality, contraception and sexual health? Tell us here what you think should be done. Share your ideas and inspire others.

At Brook we will continue supporting young people and providing a platform through which they can express their views and ideas and share their experiences. Watch this space.


Shelley said...

Young people thrive on a consistent set of clear boundaries. In this country I think they struggle to know what they are on the matter of sex and sexual health.

Access to sexual images is greater than ever before.
Bodies are maturing at a faster rate.
The media demands people are interested in sex through the way that "sex sells"
However they are not recieving a complete PSHE programme in schools and many parents struggle to feel comfortable enough to talk to their children about these "taboo" subjects.

In our society of mixed messages young people fear what will happen if they ask for information and advice. Will they be judged for wanting to have sex? Even if its "safer"? Is the service REALLY confidential? How can they really know that?
What about the fact that what they are doing is actually illegal?

We need to decide what message young people should hear about sex and stick to it. Then perhaps they can know where they stand and use services that will provide them with information and advice to make important informed choices without feeling ashamed or guilty.

Luke Small - Exec D & Founder - JYRT International said...

Shelley - I have to agree with you on your thoughts shown in the first paragraph. I too believe young people do thrive on a consistent set of clear boundaries, but equally, they thrive on breaking those boundaries and entering a unique one, one that is rebellious and shows them to be non-conforming.

In this modern age, young people are more politically active, more socially active, more mature and more sophisticated - yet, why it is we still fail in pressing forward a message for their personal safety and well being is unknown.

There are indeed many doubts amongst young people as to the provision of purportedly "confidential" services but this, I believe is down to the continued movements made by agencies such as the Social Services, through which young people confide and have often been betrayed.

The actions of young people regarding sexuality, sex and relationships are irratic. Some are conformant to a systematic manner of safety, yet others freely have totally unsafe relations and have no regrets for this whatsoever.

A minority of young people are projecting a view which is casting a shadow over the majority - that risks are to be taken. That living life in this age, is for the moment, not for the future.

How we go about changing this perception, how we truly bring about change in this age, I do not know.