Write a response journal throughout your progression through the study plan. Whilst there is not particular format required,Sexual health is relevant to all health workers. Throughout this topic you will keep a response journal. This is a major part of the assessment for the topic.
Further information is provided in the Assessment: information and resources folder on your FLO topic site. As we go through the topic you will be asked to make journal entries. These are an academic piece of work and are required to be referenced where appropriate. Some entries are your thoughts that will not require a reference and some will require that you cite the source. A notation of minimum expectation is provided for each activity.
It is not so long ago that no one spoke openly about sex and sexuality. Now it is quite freely talked about, and read about, however it is not always clear that people are talking about the same thing. Sex and sexuality are terms that are used interchangeably. Culture, religion, socio-economic status and politics are some of the influences that impact on how we understand and relate to people regarding sex and sexuality.
The promotion of sexual health is an integral part of the role of the midwife. How this is dealt with by the health professional will depend on their own knowledge about sexuality and sexual health and how prepared they are to incorporate this aspect of care into their practice. The focus of this topic is on principles that can be applied to all groups that you come in contact with. Groups have not been singled out for discussion or problems identified in depth. The following are some suggestions as to ‘groups’, or ‘issues’ related to sexual health. It may be from this list that you choose your essay topic. The list is not
Journal entry 1
Finish the following sentence. Write this response how you feel now. It does not need to be referenced.
Sexuality means …
After you have completed this sentence, move on through the topic. It will be interesting to return to this entry after you make your last entry. Page 1 of 6
NURS3906 > Study plan > Section 1: Introduction
inclusive or complete. Sexual assault, menopause, lesbian health issues, gay men’s health issues, sexually transmitted infections, contraception, disability (physical and intellectual), fertility/infertility, refugee sexual health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sexual health, sexual heath for sex workers, sexual health, sexuality and medical conditions, sexuality and palliative care, sexuality and the organ transplant or spinal cord injury client, sexuality in pregnancy and postpartum and sexuality and mental health. This is where you have the opportunity to study, in depth, your area of interest. There is very little written in the literature about sexual health as a stand-alone topic. Women’s health and men’s health are addressed in literature relating to each specific gender. To find both addressed together is indeed rare.
Defining sexual health is problematic and it is interesting that the World Health Organization (WHO) has taken a new focus on the topic and they have started to look at sexual health as a separate area of work in its own right. The WHO defines sexual health as:
Sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.
Having this overview from a WHO perspective will give you a foundation for the topic. You will also find their website useful so you are urged to ‘have a look around it’ at some stage. There are some fabulous resources and I hope, like me, you are able to do some interesting reading.
Go to this website: http://www.who.int/topics/reproductive_health/en/ and access the Department of Reproductive Health and Research, Sexual and reproductive health—research and action in support of the Millennium Development Goals: biennial report 2006-2007.
This is a compelling report in relation to helping people lead healthy sexual and reproductive lives. It also provides evidence of the progress made towards the MDGs in the year 2015. Page 2 of 6
NURS3906 > Study plan > Section 1: Introduction
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