Uncovering topics about sexual and reproductive health are treated as taboo and controversial as they are often stigmatized by society because of their sensitivity in nature. Individuals who choose to ponder upon such topics often receive backlash, disregarding the alarming rate of misinformed youth who jeopardize their sexual health and rights due to a lack of open and safe spaces to tackle such topics. With the changing environment brought by various access to information, the youth’s curiosity on topics about sexual and reproductive health continues to increase.
Comprehensive sexual health education to the youth requires collaborative efforts and mutual dialogue to ensure a safe space of discussions and knowledge sharing, and through the partnership of Negrosanon Young Leaders Institute and Sanggunian ng Kabataan – Mansilingan, a sexual health, and rights campaign entitled SEXZ, was held last July 30, 2022, at Mansilingan Agro-Industrial High School.
Various youth participants from Mansilingan have gathered to participate in the discussions about sex education which includes discourses about the reproductive system, sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual rights, as a part of their campaign to end rape culture and the promotion of reproductive health education.
Carl Brian, one of the participants of SEXZ, stressed the importance of introducing sexual education to his fellow youth so that they will be able to distinguish the nature of safe sex and its practices. For him, access to reproductive health care and education is truly a youth’s fundamental right that will help them to initially know the consequences of present sexual and reproductive health issues and how to prevent these.
“I agree on being imparted adequate knowledge on sexual rights and being fully-equipped on learning these topics before engaging to any sexual acts because for me, engaging in these acts is a huge risk to take not only for you but also for your partner, so a person must think ahead before getting involved in any of these,” Prince Carl Brian said.
Joy, also one of the participants, believes that the program was important for all genders and that the information she garnered can help her share insights with her sister regarding the topic, “I could share everything that I have learned from this program to my sister since she is also a woman, so that she can be aware and enlightened of her safety wherever she goes,” she shared.
Through SEXZ, Negrosanon Young Leaders Institute and Sanggunian ng Kabataan – Mansilingan hopes to raise a generation of informed youth that forwards the importance of sexual education./Rose Coleen Rubio & Lordvy Marie Rio, WVSU Interns