Sexual Health Rights and Principles

There are six basic sexual health principles that can help you guide your children in making healthy decisions. Within each of these principles, safety, trust, communication, respect, and accurate information are all key to achieving the sexual health and happiness of everyone involved. Think through how these can relate to you and if there are other rights you would like to add!

consent

Consent is the full, continuous, mutual agreement to sexual activity between the individuals involved.
Consent includes the right to:

  • Choose what to participate in, not participate in, or to abstain from altogether.
  • Change your mind at any time.
  • Fully understand what you are agreeing to.

non-exploitation

Exploitive relationships use coercion and power differentials to benefit one individual over another. You
have the right to non-exploitive relationships and to:

  • Feel safe in your sexual activities.
  • Not be taken advantage of due to age, gender, religion, ability, race, etc.
  • Voice your needs, concerns, and preferences as they relate to your sexuality.
  • Not please others at your own expense.

protection

Protection from STIs, HIV, and unwanted pregnancy comes through medically accurate education,
information about the risk each participating member poses to the other, and access to appropriate
healthcare and resources. You have the right to:

  • Ask about the risk your partners pose to your sexual health.
  • Deny sexual contact without the use of protection.
  • Educate yourself and others about types of protection.

honesty

Honesty is being truthful within sexual relationships. Partners should voluntarily share important
information in an environment of safety and trust. You have the right to:

  • Be honest with yourself and your partners.
  • Give and receive accurate information, even when stakes are high.
  • Ask questions of your sexual partners that impact your sexual and emotional health.

values

Sexual activities can have different meanings for different people. Sharing sexual values can help to
clarify what is acceptable for each person in the relationship and create clear expectations. You have
the right to:

  • Take time to know your own and your partners’ values around sexuality.
  • Have your values respected without being belittled or condemned.
  • Feel safe sharing the values that you have and why you have them.

pleasure

Safe sexual experiences built on trust have the ability to bring enjoyment and satisfaction to everyone
involved. You have the right to:

  • Find your personal sexual preferences, expressions, and desires.
  • Feel safe when exploring sexually.
  • Experience consensual pleasure without pain.