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A Note for Teachers and Parents

Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT (SHFPACT) is a community organisation which provides healthcare services in the field of sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing. SHFPACT is committed to the provision of responsible, accurate and relevant information on sexual and reproductive health.

In line with this commitment, SHFPACT provides information for various segments of the community, including young people.

All people in our community, including young people, are increasingly using the ready access of the internet to find information on issues of health, relationships, and sexuality. It is therefore all the more important that they have access to information which is reliable, responsible and professional. SHFPACT has provided the information on these pages to meet this goal. The topics covered on these pages are ones about which a wide range of people routinely seek information.

Not all health information or news articles on this website are intended for young people. Some of our website content deals with sexual and reproductive health issues that occur later in life, for example our focus on menopause information.

In our Frequently Asked Questions section, the questions listed are typical questions asked by young people themselves: the questions young people ask parents or teachers or educators or friends, the questions young people send to health-related or family planning websites, and questions listed in books directed at young people. Answers are written by SHFPACT staff.

You may feel that some questions or topics included here are inappropriate for young people. SHFPACT is well aware that there are debates in the community over what kind of education on sexual and reproductive health should be provided at what age to young people. Nevertheless, given that the questions listed are ones which have come directly from young people themselves, we feel that it is appropriate to answer them, in a factual, responsible and informed manner.

SHFPACT takes the approach of harm minimisation, where one of our key goals is to minimise the risks and harms faced by young people. These include the risks involved in sexual activity which is premature, unsafe or unwanted, and the harms of unwanted pregnancy, disease transmission and violence. Some parents and teachers are concerned about sexuality education leading to earlier or increased sexual activity. However, research demonstrates there is no evidence to suggest this.

In fact, many studies show that sexuality education, when delivered in an accessible, factual and comprehensive way, can lead to a delay in the onset of sexual activity or a decrease in overall sexual activity. In addition, research shows that comprehensive sexuality and relationships education increases the adoption of safer sex practices by sexually active young people when they do choose be sexual with another person.

If you wish to seek similar websites, please visit the websites of other Family Planning Organisations around Australia, or the section of this page on "Other sources of information and advice".

We hope that you will support this website. Please feel most welcome to link to this website and to bring its existence to the attention of the young people with whom you work or live.

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