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Mexican Middle Schoolers’ Questions on Sexuality and Dating Relationships: A Descriptive Qualitative Analysis
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal  (IF1.862),  Pub Date : 2022-01-07, DOI: 10.1007/s10560-021-00811-7
Rodriguez, Deaven, Rueda, Heidi Adams, Hoffman, Steven, Gutierrez, Bethany

Research in Mexico has found a lack of comprehensive sexual health education in school settings, as well as a lack of youth perspectives on sexual health and dating. Little is known about the questions Mexican youth have about dating and sexuality, despite research finding that they desire this information and perceive few resources available to them. This collaborative study between a U.S. university and a multi-disciplinary team of middle-school psychologists in Central Mexico aimed to understand youth’s questions on sexual health and dating. This study was a follow-up to focus group conversations, where youth voiced that they wanted more information about these topics. Specifically, school psychologists solicited anonymous questions about sexual health and dating relationships using a ‘question box’ (n = 60 written questions). This method offered a forum by which students could ask about sensitive topics individually. We analyzed questions using descriptive thematic analysis. A majority of the questions pertained to healthy relationships, followed by questions on violence and trauma in relationships, sexual education, and attraction and sexual orientation. The results of this study reflect a need to provide youth and their families accurate and developmentally appropriate information on sexual health and dating during early adolescence. Here, we discuss the process of forming a binational partnership, primary themes with regard to the questions asked, and the impact of findings from the perspectives of our Mexican collaborators.