That being said, I always think it’s a great time to talk about sex, but perhaps that has a lot to do with my background as a community sexual health educator. The reality is that talking openly and honestly about sex and sexuality is hard to do and it can make us uncomfortable. This discomfort has historically led to generations of misinformation, shame and silence.
Everyone, of any age, deserves the right to access accurate and unbiased sexual health information in order to make informed decision about their health. The challenge is often knowing where to find it.
Our newsletter theme this month is health literacy and if there is one area that I think we could all benefit from more well-sourced information, it is sexual health.
A crash course in sexual health information:
Beware of search engines
My advice when it comes to sexual health and Google: just don’t. There is a lot of bad information on the internet, and pulling up a google search makes it difficult to decipher where the information is coming from and what potential biases or ulterior motives might be at play. Learn more about The Dangers of Dr. Google here.
My top 5
A list of the best sites for unbiased and non-judgmental sexual health information are as follow:
- Sexuality and U: Rated one of the top 10 health websites in Canada.
- Options for Sexual Health: Similar to Planned Parenthood, with services available for free to all residents of BC
- Scarleteen: Don’t be fooled by the teen/20’s label: This site has accessible information and advice for all ages.
- Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights: Like the World Health Organization, but for sexual health in Canada. Policy, research, advocacy and information.
- Sex is good for your health: Last year in my S is for SEX article, I outlined the physical, psychological and emotional benefits of being sexually active.
Brush up on the research
UBC has some amazing folks doing some interesting research on sexual health and sexuality:
- Dr. Lori Brotto and the UBC Sexual Health Laboratory
- The UBC Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice
- UBC Faculty of Medicine Youth Sexual Health Team
Increasing your sexual health literacy is a learning process, one that includes being both critical and curious. Even as an adult, it is okay to not have all the answers – as long as you keep looking.
Talking about sexual health as a parent can add another layer to a tricky topic, one that can provoke both anxiety and stress. For any parents or guardians out there looking for tips on how to talk about this topic with your kids, consider registering for our upcoming workshop:
All my best,