The Necessity of Sexual-Health Education for Iranian Female Adolescents: A Qualitative Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor of Midwifery, Patient Safety and Health Quality Research Center, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Lecturer of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Ahvaz Judishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran. Ph.D. student of Reproductive Health, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor of Pediatric, Nursing and Midwifery Cares Research Center, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

4 Professor of Health Education and Health Promotion, Health Sciences Research Center, Faculty of Health, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.

5 Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Health Sciences Research Center, Faculty of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Introduction: Sexual-health education has faced challenges in most cultures. Iranian adolescents, particularly females, have many unmet needs in terms of sexual-health education; nonetheless, there are controversies about the necessity and appropriateness of sexual-health education for adolescents mainly due to the socio-cultural challenges in Iranian society. This qualitative study, therefore, aimed to explore perspectives and experiences of adolescents and key adults regarding the necessity of sexual health education to female adolescents in Iran.
Methods: The design was a qualitative content analysis, in which qualitative data were collected through careful interviews and group discussions with female adolescents, mothers, authorities of health and education organizations of the province, midwives of health centers, teachers and school counselors, and clergies in Ahvaz and Mashhad. Data were analyzed adopting conventional content analysis using MAXqda software.
Results: The main reasons for necessity of sexual-health education for female adolescents were categorized in five emerged themes including: lack of accurate sexual knowledge and attitudes, existence of inaccurate sources for sexual knowledge, socio-cultural changes, increased sexual health disorders in adolescents, and proved attitudes of religion.
Conclusion: Many adolescents and adults agreed on the necessity of sexual-health education. This reality would encourage policymakers to go forward to the next step, which is designing and implementing sexual-education programs according to the adolescents’ needs, instead of being in doubt about whether adolescents need to be provided for the sexual-health education or not.


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