Why is sexuality education important?
Teachers and other educators can help young people grow into strong and confident adults. The information in this section is intended to provide educators with information and resources to assist them to deliver age- and culturally-appropriate relationships and sexuality education to young Aboriginal people.
A recent survey of young Aboriginal people in Australia (external site) found that the median age of first intercourse was 15 years. Rates of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) amongst young Aboriginal people are high. Lack of access to accurate information remains a barrier to the practise of safe sex behaviours.
The Western Australian Department of Health considers school-based sexuality and relationships education to be an important public health program.
Successful programs have been found to:
increase adolescents' confidence and ability to make informed decisions
delay the onset of sexual activity
decrease the frequency of sexual intercourse
increase the use of contraceptives in adolescents who have decided to be sexually active
prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmissible infections among young people
provide additional opportunities for young people to learn about and discuss relationships and sexual health issues outside their homes.