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On the Outskirts of the Charmed Circle: Challenges and Limitations of Sexual Health Promotion to Young People in Secure State Care
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA). Malmö University, Centre for Sexology and Sexuality Studies (CSS).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5637-5106
2021 (English)In: Sexuality Research & Social Policy, ISSN 1868-9884, E-ISSN 1553-6610, Vol. 18, p. 87-96Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives Young people on the verge of, or in, secure state care or incarceration have reduced general and sexual health. The promoting of sexual health among young people in secure state care is therefore a responsibility for both the state-run agency responsible for this care and for the professionals who work there. Methods This position paper discusses sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for young people in secure state care in Sweden. Four previous studies on sexual health of young people in secure state care are revisited, and governmental policy documents are examined. Results Young people in secure state care face many threats to their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Some of these threats originate with the institutional placement itself and the lack of knowledge among the staff. Clashes on various levels between the subjectively desired (young people seeking pleasure from sex, alcohol, or other drugs) and the societally desired (sexual health, minimal alcohol use, and no drug use among young people) are described. In addition, clashes are seen between young people who want to be like everyone else in their social context and the staff with a mission (i.e. job description) to readjust young people into adopting socially accepted behaviour. Conclusion I argue that young people in secure state care have sexual experiences that are marginalized and placed on the outskirts of the charmed (sexual) circle of societally accepted sexual behaviour. In addition, their experiences are surrounded by silence, a silence sustained by both young people and professionals. The readiness of professionals to handle SRHR for young people in secure state care in a knowledge-based and non-judgemental fashion is crucial. Future research should focus on this readiness and have the needs and wishes of young people as its departing point. Although the article involves a local context, it may be of interest to a wider audience, as the placement of young people in secure state care and other forms of incarceration occurs worldwide.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2021. Vol. 18, p. 87-96
Keywords [en]
Correctional facilities, Incarceration, Institutions, Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), State care, Young people
National Category
Social Psychology Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-17087DOI: 10.1007/s13178-020-00433-1ISI: 000516207200001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85079873385OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-17087DiVA, id: diva2:1424764
Available from: 2020-04-20 Created: 2020-04-20 Last updated: 2024-02-05Bibliographically approved

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Lindroth, Malin

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