Sexperts

LOGO_sexperts

What is Sexperts

The Sexperts project offers workshops for high schools students. Those workshops are covering various sexual health subject and are given by health sciences university students trained to talk about sexual health to teenagers and young adults. The Sexperts curriculum is based upon philosophies of non-judgement, sex-positivity, empowerment, risk reduction, destigmatization and inclusivity. While the Sexperts program does cover the biological factors relevant to sexual health, it also focuses on sociological and psychological factors.

Mission

Since the 2000 educational reform, sexual health education has depended on various school workers from different disciplines[i] who may not be specialized in these issues. Sexperts is addressing this issue by offering quality sexual health workshops to high school students. Indeed, this project has been developed by Québec medical students and is fostered by medical professionals. Sexperts is a reliable resource for teenagers and young adults and its curriculum is regularly updated according to recent findings.

Sexperts believes that that every individual has a right to a safe space to learn about sex and to receive up-to-date, reliable and relevant information regarding sexuality. The program aims to empower youth with accurate and thorough information and resources in order to make their own best decisions about their sexual health. Sexperts believes that by empowering youth we teach them to be responsible for their well-being. We also focus on making sexual education relevant to and inclusive of everyone, while aiming to normalize sexual and gender diversity.

Unlike more traditional presentation methods, our approach consists of interactive and dynamic peer education activities and sessions, which engages students, and therefore, increases their retention of the message.

How Sexperts came to be

The project was created in 2005 by medical students from McGill University. This initiative was then created in response to the alarming increase of reported sexually transmitted and blood borne infections (STBBIs) among young people in Quebec[ii] [iii]and the deconstruction of sex education curriculums in schools[iv]. The project gained momentum in the following years and Sexperts now exists in multiple medical schools across Quebec including the University of Montreal campuses in Montreal and in Mauricie, McGill University Montreal campus, as well as the Saguenay campus of Sherbrooke University.

Sexperts has now been integrated into the reproductive health and AIDS Committee (ARCOS) IFMSA-Québec, the international division of the Fédération médicale étudiante du Québec (FMEQ). IFMSA-Québec is a member of the largest international conglomerate of Medical Students (IFMSA), which allows different projects such as Sexperts to collaborate with other similar international initiatives, to create links and develop the curriculum and the presentations, as well as to be able to offer quality and personalized workshops at different grade levels.

Objectives

  • Encourage youth’s sense of responsibility towards their sexual health and promote healthy sexual behaviours and practices
  • Stimulate youth’s intellectual curiosity regarding sexual and reproductive health
  • Promote self-respect and respect of others
  • Eliminate certain false myths by giving out reliable and valid information
  • Creating a safe and neutral environment so teenagers can ask their questions in a respectful atmosphere and answer their questions regarding sexual health
  • Supply students with simple tools and resources to make healthy choices when it comes to their sexual practices.

Sexperts workshops

Sexperts offers two-parts workshops on sexual and reproductive health to grade 10-11 students. Each workshop is lead by two health sciences university students previously trained on sexual health matters. Many activities and different subjects are discussed during those workshops, like consent, healthy relationships, hypersexuality, porn and medias, concept of virginity, puberty, menstruations, STBBIs, contraception, sexual identities and orientations, options for unplanned pregnancies, etc. We strongly encourage the participation of students in a safe and respectful environment.

For more information

Yasmine Nadifi 
Coordinator of the Sexual Health and AIDS Committee  (NORA)
nora@ifmsa.qc.ca
[i] EESQ. (2017). Éducation à la sexualité. Récupéré de http://www.education.gouv.qc.ca/enseignants/dossiers/education-a-la-sexualite/
[ii] INSPQ. (2016). Portrait des infections transmissibles sexuellement et par le sang (ITSS) au Québec : année 2015 (et projections 2016). Récupéré de https://www.inspq.qc.ca/publications/2201
[iii] INSPQ. (2017). Étude PIXEL – Portrait de la santé sexuelle des jeunes adultes au Québec. Récupéré de https://www.inspq.qc.ca/publications/2307
[iv] MSSS.(2003). L’éducation à la sexualité dans le context de la réforme de l’éducation. Récupéré de http://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/msss/fichiers/2003/03-education-sexualite.pdf