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Sexuality and family planning: report of a consultation and research findings.

Author: 
Langfeldt T; Porter M
Source: 
Copenhagen, Denmark, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, 1986. 62 p.
Abstract: 

A Consultation on Sexuality was convened by the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Copenhagen in November 1983 to examine the sexual dimensions of health problems. Sexuality influences thoughts, feelings, actions, and interactions and thus physical and mental health. Since health is a fundamental human right, so must sexual health also be a basic human right. 3 basic elements of sexual health were identified: 1) a capacity to enjoy and control sexual and reproductive behavior in accordance with social and personal ethics; 2) freedom from fear, shame, guilt, false beliefs, and other psychological factors inhibiting sexual response and impairing sexual relationships; and 3) freedom from organic disorders, diseases, and deficiencies that interfere with sexual and reproductive functions. The purpose of sexual health care should be the enhancement of life and personal relationships, not only counseling or care related to procreation and sexually transmitted diseases. Barriers to sexual health include myths and taboos, sexual stereotypes, and changing social conditions. In addition, sexuality is repressed among groups such as the mentally handicapped, the physically disabled, the elderly, and those in institutions whose sexual needs are not acknowledged. Homosexuals are often stigmatized because their sexual expression is at variance with dominant cultural values. Sex education programs and health workers must broaden their traditional approach to sexual health so they can help people to plan and achieve their own goals. Family planning programs must expand from their traditional goal of avoiding unwanted births and help people balance the need for rational planning on the one hand and the satisfaction of irrational sexual desires on the other hand. Promoting sexual health is an integral part of the promotion of health for all.

Language: 
Year: 
Document Number: 
045568
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