Adopting a sex-positive approach

Sex-positivity celebrates sexuality as an enhancing part of life that brings happiness, energy and celebration; and recognises young people’s rights to express their thoughts, opinions, needs and desires related to sexuality – Article 6 of Sexual Rights: An IPPF declaration.

Sex can be a source of pleasure, but also a source of pain and distress. Sex-positive approaches acknowledge and tackle the various concerns and risks associated with sexuality without reinforcing fear, shame or taboo. By communicating openly about sexuality and respecting young people’s autonomy, health professionals can enable them to feel positive about their choices. Sex-positive approaches strive to achieve ideal experiences, rather than solely working to prevent negative experiences.


  • a table of obstacles to a sex-positive approach and what the solutions are
  • a checklist of what constitutes a youth-friendly health professional