Education of Human Affectivity and Sexuality

About us

This research project aims to promote the acquisition of healthy sexual lifestyles through an adequate, comprehensive education in affectivity and sexuality starting from adolescence and early youth.

This education is defined as that which favors “a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled,” which corresponds to the WHO definition of sexual health. Thus, fostering personal human development and communication are two of the keys to educating in the capacity for love and in the building of solid social bonds.

Sexual activity in adolescence is considered a public health issue that regularly affects an individual’s personal development and the quality of his/her social bonds. Many health and educational programs for young people have been developed— often without parental involvement and from different ideological and anthropological perspectives— but most have not been effective. They continue to increase the physical, psychological and social problems associated with sexuality in people who are ill prepared to assume its consequences.

Initiatives and objectives

This project proposes multidisciplinary initiatives involving parents, schools and youth, as well as their social environment.

Affective-sexual education in adolescence should first and foremost include parents, who provide a values structure through their example and with advice that young people desire. Parents’ attitudes toward sexuality influence their children’s education and initial decisions, making it imperative to promote their educational role.

Likewise, the affective-sexual education that students receive at school is also important because there they learn many behaviors, as well as society’s governing culture, knowledge and values.

At the same time, it is necessary to emphasize the construction of a socio-cultural context that fosters healthy leisure opportunities for young people and the development of social skills that allow them to resist the pressures that make it difficult to make decisions that are both free and based on values ​​and knowledge.

The improvement of affectivity and sexual education among people according to the parameters of "sexual health" and the anthropological foundations based on a vision of the human being as a person: with his/her own dignity, rationality and freedom. To accomplish this general objective we work on several subprojects each with their own strategies for research, deliverables and communication.

  • To reinforce parents’ primary educational role in the affective-sexual education of their children in face of the educational challenges and needs that the contemporary socio-cultural context presents them.

  • To promote quality affective-sexual education in schools that is both subsidiary and complementary to parents’ role.

  • To focus on adolescents’ social environment in such a way that it enhances good sexual-affective health and promotes the development of healthy lifestyles, personal development and stable social ties, thus reinforcing parents and schools’ educational task.

Principal investigator

Jokin de Irala
Institute for Culture and Society
Main Library
University Campus
31009 Pamplona
Spain

jdeirala@unav.es

General contact:
Alessia Pessina
31009 Pamplona
Spain

+34 948 425600
Ext: 803430
apessina@unav.es

This project is part of Idisna

IdiSNA