When we talk about sexual health with young people we say it is to do with everything about them that is to do with sex and relationships and the way their body changes as they become an adult.
Young people have a right:
- To be healthy
- To be safe
- To get information and ideas of all kinds
- To confidentiality and respect for their private life
- To use services (like their GP or special clinics about sexual health) to help them stay healthy
- To have their say if a professional person is making a decision that affects them.
Who are young people?
When we talk about young people we generally mean people who are no longer children and have started to become adults. It’s hard to define this in terms of age but in terms of sexual health it might be useful to think of children becoming young people when they have started to physically develop sexually or have reached the age of puberty and continue to be young people until they feel fully physically and emotionally developed enough to handle all the responsibility of being considered an adult.
It’s important to remember that all young people are not the same and that there are young people of different ages young people who are white, black, european or asian. Young people who are straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered. There are young people who are having sex, are not having sex, are in relationships, are not in relationships. There are young people who are able bodied, are disabled or have learning disabilities, or have sensory impairments. There are young people living at home, or in care or homeless. There are young people who care for other people. Young people are at school, further education, working and unemployed. This site is for all of you.
Young people and sexual feelings
Young people start to have sexual feelings at around 11 or 12. For a lot of young people, when they start to get sexual feelings nobody seems to want to talk to them about it in an open or affirming way, some parents might find it really difficult to talk about sex and sexual feelings.
This means that young people start to get the idea that sexual feelings are something to be ashamed of. As The UN Convention on The Rights of the Child tells us, young people have a right to information on things that affect them. Sexual feelings affect every young person very much.
If you want to talk to someone you can go along to a young person’s services listed on the website and talk it over with a friendly listening ear. Check out these websites for more info