Northwest Territories sex free

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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Compared to other young Canadians, youth in the Northwest Territories NWT suffer disproportionately from negative sexual health outcomes, including high rates of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies. This study aimed to identify the self-perceived barriers and facilitators to positive, empowered, and safer sexual health that impact female youth in the NWT.

A total of 12 females aged 15—19 who live in the NWT were recruited through purposive sampling to participate in semi-structured, face-to-face interviews. Inductive coding and thematic analysis of transcribed data occurred using Atlas. Recommendations for future action include improving the content and delivery of sexual health education, enhancing parent—adolescent sexual health communication, providing workshops to empower young women to assert themselves within relationships, and supporting an environment that normalizes youth sexuality.

For instance, the prevalence rate for chlamydia is 7 times the national average for NWT youth aged 15—24 years old, and new chlamydial infections among females occur at twice the rate of new chlamydial infections for males 23. However, HIV prevalence in the NWT is likely under-diagnosed and under-reported due to difficulties with accessing testing in some rural and remote areas, poor acceptance of testing among some NWT residents, and testing that occurs outside of the NWT 6.

The high prevalence of STIs and unintended pregnancies can have numerous detrimental consequences for the health of youth. Receiving a positive STI diagnosis can lead to negative psychological effects on health such as depression, anxiety, diminished self-esteem, and may affect an individual's relationship with their partner 89.

Northwest Territories sex free

In women, some STIs may lead to ectopic pregnancy, cervical cancers, pelvic inflammatory disease, genital warts, infertility, or even death, 10 — In addition, several STIs increase risk for complications in pregnancy, morbidity, or infant mortality 101113and some young mothers may suffer from negative social and psychological experiences like stigmatization and isolation from their peers 14 Thus, due to the potentially negative and serious impacts of STI acquisition and unintended pregnancy on the lives of women, research exploring the sexual health of females is an important priority for public health in the NWT.

We can enhance the richness of our understanding of the determinants that either impede or facilitate positive sexual health for adolescent women aged 15—19 in the NWT by revealing important attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs from their sexual health experiences through qualitative research. Past qualitative research has given voice to some women, but has not included young women from the NWT. Sexual health program development must include the target population's voice in order to identify and understand young women's perceived determinants of these sexual health problems and establish effective solutions.

Purposive sampling at high schools and public locations such as coffee shops and community bulletin boards within Yellowknife was used to recruit 12 female youth aged 15—19 into this study from October to January Participants had to have lived in the NWT for at least 2 years and mostly or always have had sexual relationships with males. Participants ranged in age from 16 to 18 years old and all attended high school though one participant had dropped out of school for several months to have a baby.

Participants varied in relationship status single or in a relationshipand most stated they were heterosexual, though 2 young women identified as bisexual. Most participants lived in the NWT for their entire lives, though 4 participants had lived in other northern communities for a considerable period or did not currently consider Yellowknife home.

Several participants currently lived with one or both of their parents and their siblings, though some had alternative living arrangements such as with their partners or their grandparents. Most of these young women worked at part-time jobs, though some participants chose not to work, often to concentrate on their schoolwork instead. One participant had given birth when she was 15 years old. This relatively heterogeneous sample allowed unique and diverse perspectives to emerge regarding the thoughts, perceptions, and sexual health and sexuality experiences of young women in the NWT.

Data collection entailed face-to-face, semi-structured interviews that were grounded in a qualitative methodological approach and reflected a third-wave feminist perspective. Third-wave feminism argues that research often ignores of silences the voices of women's experiences and life stories Interviews lasted 1—2 hours, occurred at a location that both the participant and the researcher regarded as safe and private, and were audio recorded for quality assurance.

Audio recordings were transcribed verbatim and imported into the qualitative data analysis software Atlas. We used open coding to select sections of interviews and as labels to words or phrases codes in each transcript. Inductive thematic analysis was then used to group codes relating to similar fields into themes. In addition, the study researchers participated in peer debriefing sessions with other external qualitative researchers. Peer-debriefing helps to ensure methodological rigor by ensuring that researchers follow their proposed methodologies and that data coding and interpretations of data are appropriate Several themes either impeded or facilitated the ability of young women in the NWT to either achieve or maintain sexual health about which they felt positive, empowered, and safe.

These major themes included: a missing information and mis information regarding sexual health, b relationships with the self and others, and c the adequacy of, and access to, resources. The of this study indicate that often youth in the NWT fail to receive accurate and comprehensive information about sexual health, if they receive any information at all.

One of the most salient themes continually repeated by participants was the desire for honest, non-judgmental, value-neutral information to help them make informed decisions about their bodies, their sexuality, and their sexual health, before engaging in sexual activity. For instance, one participant stated:. I just think the information should be proposed as neutral—like, they're not for sex and they're not against it.

Northwest Territories sex free

It should appeal to everybody, and just say that the choice is yours, you know? I know lots of things are like, sex is bad … but it's your choice. If you want to wait until marriage then it's your choice, but if you don't, then go ahead with it. It's your body.

Northwest Territories sex free

It's your decision. Several young women in this study felt that, given complete and reliable information, they could make individual choices that would empower them, increase their comfort levels, and make them feel more in-control of their sexuality and sexual health.

Northwest Territories sex free

These participants also sought comprehensive sexual health information that portrayed the reality of potentially negative consequences of unprotected sex, such as STIs. The findings of this research indicate that some young women recognized the hyper sexualized atmosphere of popular culture, which accentuates sex as a lustful physical act devoid of emotion, love, or commitment:. I'd like to see less emphasis on sex as a physical thing. I think it's really sad how lifeless and loveless sex has become in the media. Mostly the media is promoting the perfect body, so [the media] is more negative.

It's harder for the average girl to maybe feel good about herself. Yet, the media also provides cognitive scripts for sexual behaviour that can help inexperienced young women fill in gaps in their understanding about how particular sexual scenarios might play out You'd never think, but pornography is a wonderful resource.

Northwest Territories sex free

It's not always healthy, but being able to see two people acting—you know, having sexual intercourse, it's like well, that's what it is, that's how you do it, that's how you feel good. We also found that some media sources targeting young people e. Degrassi: The Next Generation occasionally provided useful information about STIs or contraception, though in this context the focus was often on the negative aspects of adolescent sex, and ignored the potentially positive elements, such as the emotional aspects of sex or pleasure.

Many young women in our study felt embarrassed or awkward acquiring information through teachers in schools or from their parents. Several participants regarded the Internet as a particularly accessible, non-judgmental, and attractive source of information regarding sexual health and sexuality, especially due to its anonymity.

For example, when asked about their most favourable source for sexual health information, one participant stated:. Websites, because they are anonymous. No one can see you. You can just look [the information] up. Young women in this study also often found Internet message boards particularly important sources of information, as these online forums allowed them to post questions and receive answers anonymously regarding sexual health and sex. Participants who attended Catholic schools in the NWT spoke about difficulties receiving comprehensive information regarding contraception or safer sex.

The Government of the Northwest Territories supports a comprehensive approach to sexual health education in public schools through the mandatory Career and Life Management CALM curriculum 25in which all students in public schools must obtain CALM credits to graduate from high school.

However, the views, values, perceptions, and comfort level of a teacher are critical determinants of the implementation of a sexual health education curriculum in the NWT. Several participants reported that their teachers chose not to teach sexual health education out of discomfort, which is often mutual, as many of the young women discussed feeling nervous or awkward having their teachers particularly male teachers lead sexual health education classes.

For example, one participant stated:. This year, my teacher was like, well, we're supposed to talk about sex today, but I don't really feel like doing that, so we're not going to.

Northwest Territories sex free

However, most participants wanted to learn the information in school, just not necessarily from the teachers that they interacted with every day. The mutual interaction between relationships with others and the self forms a second major theme emerging from this study. Young people most commonly connected with their families, their peers, and their partners, and each of these three groups had different norms about sexual behaviour, all of which influenced the sexual lives of these young women. Verbal and non-verbal communication or the lack of such communication with parents, peers, and partners shaped the attitudes, behaviours, and decision-making for many young women as well as their conceptualization of themselves as sexual beings.

Our findings support past research indicating that young people want to receive information regarding sexual health from adults 26 — However, these discussions between youth and adults often do not occur due to embarrassment, fear, or discomfort from one or both parties. Consequently, many participants reported parental communication about sexual health as infrequent, limited in scope, and often negative experiences:. My parents never gave me the sex talk that they normally should.

Northwest Territories sex free

I don't even know what my mom thinks about it, so I'm just really uncomfortable to talk to her. What would she think if she knew I was sexually active?

Northwest Territories sex free

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Population of Northwest Territories by age and sex