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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


OBACH, Alexandra; SADLER, Michelle  and  JOFRE, Natalia. Sexual and reproductive health of adolescents in Chile: the role of sexual education. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2017, vol.19, n.6, pp.848-854. ISSN 0124-0064.


To explore the perceptions of adolescents regarding sex education in the Metropolitan Region of Chile, and the role of the health and education sectors in this matter.


Qualitative ethnographic study, whose fieldwork was carried out in five municipalities of the Metropolitan Region of Chile. In each municipality a Friendly Space for adolescent healthcare was studied. Semi-structured interviews (N=38), discussion groups (N=5) and participant observation techniques were used.


A negative perception among adolescents was identified regarding the sex education they receive.They express that there is a need for information on sexual and reproductive health, which addresses in depth the biological, emotional and affective dimensions of sexuality, overcoming conservative and risk-based approaches to sexuality. Innovative health strategies focused on schools were identified, where the health and education sectors work collaboratively on sex education.


When the health and education sectors work in a collaborative and coordinated manner, a better response to the needs of adolescents can be achieved in terms of information and sex education. Although this intersectoral work constitutes a progress, the challenge of incorporating the voices of adolescents and their communities remains to be addressed to plan sex education programs and policies based on their life experiences, thus advancing towards sexual and reproductive rights for this group.

Keywords : Adolescent; sexual health; reproductive health; sex education; adolescent health services; public health (source: MeSH, NLM).

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