Reproductive Health Matters Announces Publication of its Latest Themed Issue: Young People, Sex and Relationships

London, May 27, 2013

Young people are demanding information and education about their bodies, sex, their sexuality and sexual health, as well as access to services that will support them to stay safe and healthy. Papers published in the latest themed issue of Reproductive Health Matters (RHM) demonstrate that information and services in fact remain unavailable to many young people, and many may grow up without fully understanding things that they are currently experiencing such as menstruation, let alone preparing themselves for future sexual relationships and adulthood.

In some cases misinformation is being disseminated or reinforced by the very people who are entrusted with young people’s care. For example those living with HIV whose care-givers are telling them, or allowing them to believe, that they will not be able to have sexual relationships. In fact several papers demonstrate the power of families, and communities reinforcing the status quo and resisting change; sometimes actively colluding in, condoning, and encouraging harmful conventions such as early marriage, coercive and transactional sex.

The importance and needs of adolescents have been addressed in programmes of action, policy documents, conventions, conference resolutions, and task force recommendations over recent years. However, as one paper sets out thoroughly, policies are often not backed with appropriate action. In the words of Editor Marge Berer, there are ‘miles to go and promises to keep’. 

Papers included in the themed issue are from Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Nicaragua, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, UK, USA and Zambia. They address a wide range of issues affecting young people including HIV fears and misconceptions, menstruation, sexual harassment, transgender-related health care, sex education, contraceptive implants, teenage pregnancy, sexual exploitation, safe abortion, social media for health promotion, and more.

For the first time links to peer-reviewed videos have been included in RHM alongside papers on their production. Videos from South Africa have been developed to promote sexual health messages; two films from Ecuador were developed to promote discussion of young people’s sexual health needs, as well as older people’s reflections on changing sexual mores.

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Notes for Editors

The issue “Young people, sex and relationships” of Reproductive Health Matters, Volume 21, Issue 41, p 4-264 (May 2013) published by Elsevier, is now available on ScienceDirect.

Full texts of articles are available to credentialed journalists upon request; contact Lisa Hallgarten at +44 207 267 6567 or

About Reproductive Health Matters (RHM)

Reproductive Health Matters is published twice a year, in May and November in English, with editions in translation in Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. RHM covers laws, policies, research and services that meet women’s reproductive health needs. Each issue focuses on a main theme and includes feature papers, topical papers on other subjects and a round-up of information from published literature.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps scientists and clinicians to find new answers, reshape human knowledge, and tackle the most urgent human crises. For 140 years, we have partnered with the research world to curate and verify scientific knowledge. Today, we’re committed to bringing that rigor to a new generation of platforms. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, 39,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

Media contact
Lisa Hallgarten
Editorial Office RHM
+44 207 267 6567