Defining Sexual Health Reading

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Published on 10 Oct 2011
School
McGill University
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 436
Professor
Defining Sexual Health: A Discriptive Overview - Edwards et. Al
- In last 3 decades, understanding of sexual health has evolved in interesting ways
- causal factors include, 1960's sexual rev., ongoing struggle over reproductive
rights and abortion, the maturation of gay rights movement, overpopulation concerns
and the devastating international impact of HIV/AIDS.
- aim of paper is to identify emergence and evolution of these definitions to achieve a
better understanding of its historical roots, and forces impacting discussion
- discussion of sexual health is ongoing and likely to continue to reflect current social
forces, as it has in past
- 8 major definitions of sexual health identified
Antecedents to Defining Sexual Health
- attempts to define have been heavily influenced but the definition of health in general
as developed by the WHO (World Health Organization) after WWII :
- health is a state of complete physical and social well being and not merely the
absence of disease or infirmity.
- this definition has received criticism, but despite the critisms, the definition has
never been revised CRITISM:
- Saracci- wording could be interoperated to mean a right to "perfection" and
happiness making the state of health unachievable
- exacerbated the disparities in medical care
- WHO health definition influenced the definitions of other kinds of health including sex
health
- a primary contribution of the definition his the characterization that health is more
then the absence of disease of infirmity - it includes a subjective component of "well
being"
Cronological Review of Definitions of Sexual Health
WHO (1975, 1987)
- 1975 : identified 3 additional elements of sexual health
- 1) a capacity to enjoy and control sexual and reproductive behaviour in
accordance with a social and personal ethic
- 2) freedom from fear, shame, guilt, false beliefs, and others psychological factors
inhibiting sexual repines and impairing a sexual relationship
- 3) freedom from organic disorders, diseases, and deficiencesy that interfere with
seal and reproductive functions
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Document Summary

Defining sexual health: a discriptive overview - edwards et. In last 3 decades, understanding of sexual health has evolved in interesting ways. Causal factors include, 1960"s sexual rev. , ongoing struggle over reproductive rights and abortion, the maturation of gay rights movement, overpopulation concerns and the devastating international impact of hiv/aids. Aim of paper is to identify emergence and evolution of these definitions to achieve a better understanding of its historical roots, and forces impacting discussion. Discussion of sexual health is ongoing and likely to continue to reflect current social forces, as it has in past. 8 major definitions of sexual health identified. Attempts to define have been heavily influenced but the definition of health in general as developed by the who (world health organization) after wwii : Health is a state of complete physical and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.