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Canadian Public Health Association


Preventing Youth Dating Violence: Building capacity for comprehensive sexuality education in Canada


CPHA, working closely with the Centre for Sexuality and other partners from across the country, is scaling the delivery of a Relationship and Sexual Health Education (RSE) program, and evaluating its effectiveness as an intervention for youth dating violence. By applying a broad understanding of sexual health and well-being, CPHA aims to address healthy sexual relationships free of violence.

The purpose of this project is to enable youth to develop and practice the skills needed to make healthy decisions with regards to their sexuality and relationships, with the ultimate goal of helping to prevent youth dating violence in Canada. The project will likewise contribute to a greater understanding of the optimal ways to support professionals in delivering an evidence-based, comprehensive relationship and sexual health education curriculum to youth within school and community-based settings.

As part of this project, CPHA and the Centre for Sexuality are collaborating with various community organizations across Canada to support and provide training related to the delivery of the RSE program in school and community-based settings in their respective regions. This project will value youth strengths and agency by incorporating feedback directly from Canadian youth throughout the project duration, and respect the sexual rights of all persons by applying a health equity and trauma- and violence-informed framework to all project activities.

The project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada through the Preventing Gender-Based Violence: the Health Perspective – Teen/Youth Dating Violence Prevention initiative.

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Research Article & Summary | Let’s talk about sexual health education: Youth perspectives on their learning experiences in Canada

CPHA shared focus group research findings in a peer-review manuscript, which was published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality in April 2021. The article explores sexual health learning experiences based on 12 focus groups discussions with youth (ages 12-19) in Canada. Analyses resulted in 10 themes: four related to the context of youth educational and learning experiences and six related to sexual health education content.

Findings contribute to increased understanding of sexual health education delivery in Canada and provide insight for strategies to improve learning experiences for youth across the country.  

View the summary document
View the full manuscript

Webinar | Sexual health education in Canada: Insights from youth across the country

CPHA hosted a 1-hour webinar on 3 December 2020 to share some of the key findings from an online survey and a series of focus groups done with youth in Canada in 2019. Participating youth shared thoughts and experiences related to their sexual health education and learning about (un)healthy relationships.

Overall, the webinar aimed to promote understanding about what youth value most in their sexual health and relationship education as well as how to improve learning experiences for youth across the country.  

View the webinar recording
View the slides

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