Sexperts

Sexperts

In short

Sexperts is a project that offers sexual health awareness workshops to high school students. These workshops are offered by university students in the field of health who have been trained to animate them. During these workshops, we tackle different topics related to sexuality and sexual health. The project is based on the principles of non-judgment, sexual positivity, empowerment, harm reduction, destigmatization and inclusion. In addition to covering biological factors relevant to sexual health, Sexperts also addresses the sociological and psychological factors of sexuality during the workshops.

Mission

Since the education reform in 2000, sex education has been under the responsibility of different staff members at school [i], some of whom are not necessarily specialized in this area. Sexperts helps to overcome this problem by offering quality sexuality education workshops. Developed by medical students in Quebec and sponsored by professionals in the medical field, the Sexperts project is intended to be a reliable resource that is regularly updated according to the advancement of research and knowledge.

Sexperts supports the fact that everyone has the right to have access to a safe place where they can learn more about sexuality and where they can receive relevant information about sexual health. This is why we aim to educate young people about sexual health so that they can make the best decisions for their own sexuality. In other words, the empowerment of young people in regard to their sexual health is at the heart of our values. We also aim to normalize sexual and gender diversity.

The project is led by interactive peer teaching, which often elicits active participation from students and therefore helps to increase the retention rate of the information given.

History

The Sexperts project was created in 2005 by medical students from McGill University in response to the worrying increase in reported cases of STBBIs among young people in Quebec [ii] [iii], as well as the destructuring of school-based sex education [iv]. Over the years, the project has spread throughout the province. We now find Sexperts in the faculties of medicine of the Université de Montréal (Montreal and Mauricie campuses), the Université de Sherbrooke (Saguenay campus) and McGill University.

Sexperts is now part of the Reproductive Health and AIDS Committee (SCORA) of IFMSA-Quebec, the international division of the “Fédération Médicale Étudiante du Québec” (FMEQ). IFMSA-Quebec is a member of the largest international conglomerate of medical students, which allows various projects such as Sexperts to collaborate with other similar programs internationally, create a network and improve the presentations and their content in order to offer quality and personalized workshops at different educational levels.

Sexperts objectives

  • Encourage young people to take responsibility for their sexual health and promote safe sex practices
  • Promote young people’s intellectual curiosity about sexual and reproductive health
  • Promote self-respect and respect for others
  • Demystify sexual health and sexuality by providing young people with reliable information
  • Answer young people’s questions about their sexual and reproductive health in a neutral environment while encouraging self-respect and respect for others
  • Provide young people with resources that can guide them in their questions or meet their needs regarding sexual health and encourage them to use these resources

Sexperts workshops

Sexperts offers workshops on sexual and reproductive health to Secondary 4 and 5 over two class periods. Each workshop is led by two university students in health sciences previously trained to lead sex education classes. Different topics are discussed during interactive workshops and several activities accompany them. These topics include consent, healthy relationships, hypersexualization, pornography and the media, the concept of virginity, puberty, menstruation, STBBIs, contraception, sexual identities and orientations, options during unplanned pregnancies, etc. We strongly encourage active participation from students while respecting each other.

For more information

Sophie-Lena Discepola
Sexperts co-coordinator (Montreal)
[email protected]

Gwenaelle Plonquet Thibeault
Sexperts co-coordinator (Montreal)
[email protected]

Bilguissou Bah
Sexperts co-coordinator (Mauricie)
[email protected]

Richard Fattouh
Sexperts co-coordinator (Mauricie)
[email protected]

References

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