Immersed in the context of the pandemic, we saw the need to rethink our approach to sex education. Because of that and during the past 2 months, we decided to run some focus groups on the role of virtual sex education. The focus groups were conducted by an external psychologist with the aim of guiding the foundation's strategy on sex education, as well as the way we run our workshops in the new normal. Among the participants, we included a representative sample of people living in the communities where we operate.
Among the findings of these workshops, we wanted to highlight:
Most young people and adults who participated consider sexuality to be a taboo topic to talk about at home
Young people welcome the opportunity to discuss sexuality with subject matter experts at schools
It is an imperative to bridge what happens in schools vs. what happens at home regarding sex education
The training of adult caregivers, teachers and other professionals on the subject is a matter of central importance, and they are requesting more practical, action-oriented workshops for them in a train-the-trainer approach
In general, young people prefer not to have virtual sex education, but they perceive anonimity as an advantage of this type of formats
Access to quality virtual sex education can be the key when there is no endorsement of sexual education at home or in schools
Men who participated in the focus groups emphasized the importance of also considering their doubts and questions about their own sexuality, since they often see an enhanced focus on pregnancy and orientation to women, overlooking topics that impact men
These focus groups delivered two main messages we will act on:
On the one hand, the importance of implementing a strategy that includes different ways to reach young people (e.g. through social networks like Instagram or Tik Tok) supporting and complementing face-to-face workshops by using various forms of interaction (posts, lives, stories, question boxes, games, contests, etc., potentially gamifying learning)
On the other hand, the importance of a train-the-trainer approach targeting parents, teachers, and other professionals close to young people, so that they are given the necessary tools to guide and counsel them in sexuality-related matters, breaking taboos
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