Youth sexual health in Nunavut: a needs based survey of knowledge, attitudes and behaviour

Article English OPEN
Cole, Madeleine (2004)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Circumpolar Health (issn: 1797-237X, eissn: 1239-9736)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/ijch.v63i0.17917
  • Subject: adolescent pregnancy, sexual education, Inuit health, sexually transmitted infections
    mesheuropmc: education

Objectives. This study attempts to address the need for culturally specific data on beliefs and behaviours in order to design and implement appropriate public health interventions. The goal of the health promotion booklet that followed the study is to give youth a tool that will promote healthy choices and give non-judgmental information about sexuality. Study Design and Methods. Knowledge gaps and beliefs about birth control, healthy sexuality and sexual health education were assessed through a written survey of young adults in three schools on Baffin Island. The sexual health survey was four pages long and written in simple language. The survey was voluntary, consensual and confidential, and it was administered by teachers. Results. Some of the findings from the Iqaluit high school student survey (n=71) are reported with references to results from a smaller Iqaluit college student group (n=31). Conclusions. In Nunavut, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection rates exceed national averages and continue to have devastating health and social consequences - particularly for Inuit girls and women. Using the data and a participatory approach, a culturally appropriate, bilingual booklet about sexual health is being developed for Nunavut youth.Keywords: adolescent pregnancy, sexual education, Inuit health, sexually transmitted infections
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