Sexuality education in medical school – Think it’s a thing? Well in 50% of the cases it’s a myth.

Despite physicians frequently caring for patients with sexual health issues, only 50% of United States medical schools require formal education in sexual medicine. Due to the lack of standardized education, medical trainees (except for Urology and OB-GYN residents) feel unprepared to treat patients with sexual health issues. This demonstrates a failure of their medical school to provide a comprehensive education for its students.

This study found that lack of education seriously impairs medical trainees’ confidence and preparedness in identifying, educating, and treating patients with sexual problems. Future research on this topic should focus on best approaches to integrate sexual health curriculum for medical students and trainees. This study serves as a clear and strong call to medical schools to make sexual health education comprehensive and mandatory.

Excerpts from “The lack of sexual health education in medical training leaves students and residents feeling unprepared”. Un article de Sarah Beebe et. al, The Journal of sexual Medecine, 2021.

 

  • Presentation

 

One’s mission as a health professional is to give the best quality of care to one’s patients, whatever their bodies, identities or experiences. But is it really possible when one is only taught about certain types of bodies?

 

It is as necessary to know cisgender bodies than it is to know trans bodies, intersex bodies and cut/mutilated bodies. Because they exist and deserve care, respect and knowledgeable medical professionals. That is why SEX-ED + advocates for pedagogical tools that represent the diversity of bodies and genitals.

 

Better trained health professionals= better care for patients.

 

SEX-ED + circulated a survey in November 2020 designed to better understand the competencies and the needs of health professionals when it comes to sexual health. 28 doctors, nurses, OB/GYNs, midwives, physios, sexologists or educators completed it. Questions were about the sexual health training received during med school (if at all), the topics covered and the pedagogical tools used. The goal was to understand better what health professionals have been taught while in school, which pedagogical supports they had access to and if they felt ready to support their patients in their sexual health journey at the end of their training.

 

  • During your medical school training, were you taught about genital anatomy and genital diversity?

 

We have a problem? Let’s come up with solutions!

  • Research shows that sexual health education is absent/non comprehensive/partial in medical school
  • Health professionals do not feel adequately prepared to tackle sexual health with their patients
  • Pedagogical material when present only represents certain types of bodies and experiences

For sure, all these issues can’t be solved with one initiative, but SEX-ED + figured that it could become part of the solution. How? By having all of it’s 3D models available for free on an online database so that everyone can access necessary knowledge about genital anatomies, in their diversity.