Findings from the Toronto Teen Survey: A special theme issue of The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality (CJHS).
We are pleased to have findings from the Toronto Teen Survey (TTS) featured in this special theme issue of The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. The TTS Report released in 2009 noted that the survey's goal was "to conduct research that will enrich both the quality and quantity of sexual health information available to Toronto teens and improve the ways in which sexual health promotion and care are delivered". Our community-based participatory research approach engaged over 1,200 youth, as well as university-based researchers, public health professionals, and community agencies in a genuine collaboration conducted in partnership with Planned Parenthood Toronto. We intentionally sought a survey sample that encompasses a diversity of urban youth in relation to ethno-cultural background, religion, sexual orientation, and immigration history. A participatory research methodology and a commitment to reflect the diversity of youth living in Toronto were central elements in the TTS design and execution. The first article in this issue describes and explains these and other attributes of the Toronto Teen Survey story (Flicker, Travers, Flynn, Larkin, Guta, Salehi, Pole, and Layne).
The TTS sought to study the sexual behaviour of urban youth and to document their exposure to and experience of sexual health education and related sexual health services. This meant finding out where they had received sexual health education, what topics they learned about, what they wanted to learn more about, whether and where they had sought out sexual health services and what access barriers they had encountered. These themes are reflected in the five other articles in this issue. The sexual behaviour profile of the TTS sample (Pole, Flicker and the Toronto Teen Survey Team) provides important information on participants' experience, or lack of experience, with each of l 1 different sexual behaviours in relation to a number of demographic variables. A separate grouping of the behaviours into three sexual health risk categories allowed a similar assessment. The articles on education address predictors of sexual health education in youth who are newcomers to Canada (Salehi, Flicker and the TTS Team) and exposure to sexual health education of all youth with specific emphasis on the influence of religion, and other variables (Causarano, Pole, Flicker, and the TTS Team). The articles on service providers' perspectives deal with obstacles to sexual health services for youth (van der Meulen, Oliver, Flicker, Travers, and the TTS Team) and with issues and needs for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth (Travers, Guta, Flicker, Larkin, Lo, McCardell, van der Meulen, and the TTS Team).
We hope that the data presented here will be utilized to inform the provision of effective sexual health education and services to diverse youth populations in Toronto and elsewhere and that the TTS model (www. torontoteensurvey.ca) will inspire other innovative research toward that goal.
Co-principal investigators Sarah Flicker, Ph.D., Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto, ON Robb Travers, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON June Larkin, Ph.D., Women and Gender Studies/Equity Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
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|Publication:||The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality|
|Date:||Dec 22, 2010|
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