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Social Norms and Sexual and Reproductive Health among Youth in Palestine

 

This study explores the social norms and attitudes hindering youth in Palestine from accessing sexual and reproductive health information, education and services. The quantitative data set on which this study is based, comprises mainly of an online survey of 861 young persons in Palestine. The results are supported by several qualitative Focus Group Discussion and in-depth interviews. The findings show that young people in Palestine are open and ready to have age-specific, scientific and medical information regarding their SRH. More than 90% of respondents are in favour of including ageappropriate comprehensive sexual education in school curricula.

Young people reported receiving little or no information at home or at school regarding the bodily and psychological changes they go through during puberty. They view teachers, parents and society at large as the main blockers hindering their access to information. Young people feel left in the dark, and some are seeking diverse external sources that are not always fitting with their needs nor context. While SRH topics are perceived as a sensitive issue in Palestinian society, this study shows that young people are ready and eager to break the silence and work on mainstreaming and normalizing SRH topics and claiming their rights to information and proper services.