Next Article in Journal
Overview of Medical Management of Transgender Men: Perspectives from Sri Lanka
Next Article in Special Issue
Does Bed Sharing with an Infant Influence Parents’ Sexual Life? A Scoping Review in Western Countries
Previous Article in Journal
The Trauma Recovery Actions Checklist: Applying Mixed Methods to a Holistic Gender-Based Violence Recovery Actions Measure
Previous Article in Special Issue
Premature Ejaculation Symptoms Are Associated with Sexual Excitability: Empirical Support for the Hyperarousability Model
Review

Understanding Sexual Agency. Implications for Sexual Health Programming

1
Rutgers, Expert Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, P.O. Box 9022, 3506 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands
2
Interdisciplinary Social Science (Youth Studies), Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 8, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The contribution of Judith Westeneng was supported by NWO-WOTRO under Grant W08.560.004.
Academic Editor: Sally Guttmacher
Received: 25 June 2021 / Revised: 9 September 2021 / Accepted: 10 September 2021 / Published: 23 September 2021
Debates on human agency, especially female and sexual agency, have permeated the social scientific literature and health educational practice for multiple decades now. This article provides a review of recent agency debates illustrating how criticisms of traditional conceptions of (sexual) agency have led to a notable diversification of the concept. A comprehensive, inclusive description of sexual agency is proposed, focusing on the navigation of goals and desires in the wider structural context, and acknowledging the many forms sexual agency may take. We argue there is no simple relation between sexual agency and sexual health. Next, we describe the implications of such an understanding of sexual agency for Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and for sexual health and rights (SHR) programming more generally. We put forward validation of agentic variety, gender transformative approaches, meaningful youth participation, and multicomponent strategies as essential in building young peoples’ sexual agency and their role as agents of wider societal change. We also show that these essential conditions, wherever they have been studied, are far from being realized. With this review and connected recommendations, we hope to set the stage for ongoing, well-focused research and development in the area. View Full-Text
Keywords: sexual agency; sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); comprehensive sexuality education (CSE); meaningful youth participation (MYP); multicomponent strategies sexual agency; sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); comprehensive sexuality education (CSE); meaningful youth participation (MYP); multicomponent strategies
MDPI and ACS Style

Vanwesenbeeck, I.; Cense, M.; van Reeuwijk, M.; Westeneng, J. Understanding Sexual Agency. Implications for Sexual Health Programming. Sexes 2021, 2, 378-396. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2040030

AMA Style

Vanwesenbeeck I, Cense M, van Reeuwijk M, Westeneng J. Understanding Sexual Agency. Implications for Sexual Health Programming. Sexes. 2021; 2(4):378-396. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2040030

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vanwesenbeeck, Ine, Marianne Cense, Miranda van Reeuwijk, and Judith Westeneng. 2021. "Understanding Sexual Agency. Implications for Sexual Health Programming" Sexes 2, no. 4: 378-396. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2040030

Find Other Styles

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop