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Sexuality, Family Planning, and Reproductive Health

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Sexuality, family planning, and reproductive health

There are many different definitions of the word "sexuality." Some think it refers only to the act of sexual intercourse; others view it as encompassing almost everything that it means to be male or female.

The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States has developed the following definition:

Human sexuality encompasses the sexual knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviors of individuals. It deals with a the anatomy, physiology, and the biochemistry of the sexual response system; roles, identity, and personality; and individual thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and relationships.

Sexuality as defined in this way is an important part of family planning and reproductive health service delivery. Client-centered counseling and the facilitation of informed choice in reproductive health care depends on providers to be aware of issues related to sexuality. A client's sexual history, relationships, and circumstances can play an important part in contraceptive choice, screening for STIs, and long-term client satisfaction. In addition, the ability of women to improve their reproductive health and achieve their reproductive intentions is deeply affected by the degree to which they are knowledgeable about and in control of their sexuality and sexual relationships. Health providers can help to empower women by supporting them in this process.

For more information about sexuality and HIV/AIDS, contact the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), 130 West 42nd Street, Suite 350, New York, NY 10036-7802, Phone: 212/819-9770, Fax: 212/819-9776, Email: siecus@siecus.org.


[ || Pregnancy || Informed Choice || Infections and Diseases || Quality of Care || Emerging Issues ]
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