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Kickstarting the Sexual Health Conversation: Notes from a Muslim Gynecologist

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Sadaf Lodhi DO shares why comprehensive and culturally-relevant sexual health education is a core ingredient to improving and maintaining a person’s mental and physical well being (and why it benefits society as a whole)

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ABOUT THIS LECTURE

Right now there are millions of young people around the world who are being denied even the most basic information about their reproductive and sexual health. This is having a clear and measurable negative impact. There are 120 million unintended pregnancy worldwide every year and of these 61% ended in abortion. That’s 73 million abortions, a number that is higher in countries that restrict abortion. Add to that figure a host of other dire consequences that result from not educating people about sex: sexual abuse, STIs, unplanned pregnancies.

The single greatest resource we have to changing this situation is to educate people. And again, the evidence is clear. Comprehensive sexual education leads to improved sexual and reproductive health by reducing the number of sexually transmitted diseases and promotes gender equality. Despite knowing that, we are still hesitant to talk about sex. We need to sit with that discomfort until it stops being discomfort and we make it a place where talking about sex is as normalized as talking about anything else. If people taught and spoke about sexual education the way that they speak about education, sex would no longer be a taboo topic.

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