Young people’s reproductive health service: traditions and innovations

PhD, Associate Professor E.A. Grineva1
Dr.Hab., Associate Professor L.M. Zakharova1
Postgraduate E.A. Kolbeneva1
Postgraduate V.V. Cherkashina1
1Ulyanovsk State University of Education, Ulyanovsk

Keywords: health-centered physical education, reproductive health, sex culture, social behaviors, educational traditions.

Background. The Russian research school takes pride in its great practical experience and traditions in the young generation educating and culturing methods including the reproductive health protection components in the physical education and sports and health curricula [1, 4, 3, 5]. It should be emphasized that it was long traditional for the Soviet school to consider sex education an integral part of the personality development programs, with a special priority to the young people’s family values, priorities and motivations as reported by the relevant analyses [1, 2].

The well-known cultural turnaround known as the sex revolution has totally revised the traditional sex education concepts and practical methods to largely replace them by the laissez-faire policies and unrestricted sexual freedoms. As a result, the new generations feel not responsible any more for and bound by the social heritage and traditions being often driven by the distorted social standards and values – destructive for the family life and priorities. The national policies in the situation need to make a special emphasis on the systemic monitoring to develop and implement effective projects so as to prevent and reverse the destructive behavioral models and habits.

Objective of the study was to analyze benefits of a new reproductive health securing, destructive behaviors prevention and social responsibility cultivating education technologies applicable in the national educational system.

Methods and structure of the study. For the purposes of the study, we developed, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education of the Ulyanovsk Oblast the ‘Education Science Contribution to the Social Dangers Control Efforts’ Research Project which has been implemented since 2015 in the academic, vocational and school education systems in Ulyanovsk city and Ulyanovsk Oblast. Sampled for the study were 1686 students of 11 local education establishments.

The first stage of the study was designed to profile the sexual behavior in the sample – based on the assumption that an individual sexual culture may be qualified as one of the versions of the social behavioral models.

A questionnaire survey under the study found only 39.8% of the sample having discussed with their families sensitive sexual issues and roles; and, hence, 60.2% has never had a family support and understanding in these matters. Sources of the sexual information for the family-unsupported subsample were found to include friends (26.4%), health personnel (21.5%), popular magazines (20.9%), television (21.1%), teachers (9.1%), internet (2.2%) and books (2%). It should be emphasized in this context that friends are notably more influential in the sex education than teachers and family. The survey also found most of the sample having ‘biology-centered’ viewpoints on the sexual relationship (and neglecting its constructive, ethical and creative aspects), with the relevant information mostly flowing from the popular magazines and TV.

Furthermore, the survey found the expected marriage age of the sample varying from 18 to 35 years (23 years on average). We were concerned to find 40.6% of the sample prepared to break all rules and prohibitions for the own sexual pleasure. This means that the hedonistic mindset may be ranked among the key drivers and motivations of the sample, with the traditional social standards and values regarded secondary to the own pleasures.    

The first-stage findings generally showed that the sample fairly rates own reproductive health albeit lists it low among the other priorities and fails to take necessary health-protection efforts. The sample was further tested with a high incidence of the high-risk sexual behaviors due to a poor awareness of the health risks of the premature sexual contacts. The first-stage findings showed the need in a special education course to cultivate good family/ ethical values and reproductive health protection competencies in students.

The second stage of the study was intended to test the ‘Health and Happy Family’ textbook popularity in the context of the Project activity geared to promote healthy lifestyle and control addictions for tobacco, alcohol, drugs etc. A special emphasis was made on the training component to encourage chaste and responsible lifestyles, governed by the following principles:

Axiological approach to form constructive world outlooks with due appreciation of the traditional human values and healthy lifestyles as efficient barriers for the destructive behavioral models;

Versatility of the destructive behavior prevention policies and practices to help every individual develop efficient socializing skills, develop own personality and attain life goals;

Activation-prioritizing group education, with a special role played by the modern interactive education and psychological support technologies; and

Responsibility cultivation aspects driven by the assumptions that the total freedom unlimited by whatever responsibility is socially destructive; and that responsibility is closely related with the spirituality as they both lay a spiritual-and-ethical foundation for the individual creative and socially beneficial/ productive agenda [11].

In view of the fact that a healthy sex education model shall give a high priority to the healthy lifestyle cultivation aspects, the second stage of the Project activity was geared to promote healthy lifestyles and control addictions for tobacco, alcohol, drugs etc. The Project has given a special priority to the health-centered physical education via thematic sport festivals and physical education and sport initiatives to get fit for the GTO Complex tests. The second stage of the Project was finalized by the progress tests of the 16-20 year-old students of lyceums, colleges, vocational training schools and universities.

Results and discussion. The tests showed progress of the sample in a variety of aspects, including: 24% growth of support for the points: ‘no sex before marriage’; and ‘sex acceptable only in family’; plus 11% growth of support for the point ‘sex acceptable for engaged couples only’. This means that 35% of the sample was tested to develop the pro-family values. At the same time, we found 23% reduction of support for the point ‘let people freely change partners for their pleasure’. Based on a comparative analysis of the survey data broken down by the education establishments, we found the following:

– The highest positive changes in the reported sexual behavior/ priorities were found in the 11th class pupils of the general education schools, with the majority (45%) supporting the point ‘no sex before marriage’; and another 45% supporting ‘sex acceptable for engaged couples only’;

– Most liberal sexual views were found in the university students, with only 12% of the subsample tested to build up more socially responsible attitudes. Nevertheless, most of them were found to unwelcome sex for pleasure only; and at the same time the majority (58%) of the university students were tested to approve unmarried sex for the truly loving couples;

 – Many students of the special secondary vocational establishments were also tested with a meaningful progress in their sex-related views and behaviors. Thus the support for the unmarried sex for pleasure was tested to drop by 25%.

It may be concluded, therefore, that the new reproductive health securing, destructive behavior prevention and social responsibility cultivating education technologies helped develop more responsible and family-centered attitudes in students of every education establishment under the Project.

Conclusion. The new reproductive health securing, destructive behaviors prevention and social responsibility cultivating education technologies were tested beneficial. Based on the study findigns, we would emphasize the role of families and education establishments in the young people’s reproductive health securing programs with the relevant destructive behavior prevention, physical education, health; sporting; healthy lifestyle cultivation and the individual responsibility buidling initiatives.

References

  1. Byalik O. V. Sovremennye podkhody k polovomu vospitaniyu uchashcheysya molodezhi nekotorykh stran evropeyskogo soyuza [Modern approaches to sexual education of students in some countries of the European Union]. Azimut nauchnykh issledovaniy: pedagogika i psikhologiya, 2013, no. 1, pp. 8-10.
  2. Bilalova A.R., Baymanova A.F., Artemyeva A.V. Polovoe vospitanie podrostkov [Sex education of adolescents]. Mezhdunarodny zhurnal eksperimentalnogo obrazovaniya [International Journal of Experimental Education]. 2015, no. 8-3, pp. 410-415.
  3. Pokrovsky V.M., Korotko G. F. [ed.]. Fiziologiya cheloveka [Human physiology]. Moscow: Meditsina publ., 2003, 656 p.
  4. Podshivalov V.N. Sotsialnaya otvetstvennost lichnosti [Individual social responsibility]. PhD diss. abstract. Yekaterinburg, 2009., 21 p.
  5. Chetverikova N.A. Osobennosti kommunikativnogo povedeniya polov: filosofsko-psikhologicheskiy aspekt [Gender-specific features of communicative behavior: philosophical and psychological aspect]. Gumanitarny vektor, 2017, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 87-93.

Corresponding author: eliz.grin9@yandex.ru

Abstract

The study underlines the need for an all-round research to improve the young people’s reproductive health securing service taking full advantage of the traditional and new education and cultural technologies; analyzes progress of the ‘Education Science Contribution to the Social Dangers Control Efforts’ Research Project; gives the questionnaire survey data indicative of the young people’s viewpoints on the existing reproductive health service – that is critical for the nation’s health standards. The above Project has been implemented since 2015 in the academic and school education systems in Ulyanovsk city and Ulyanovsk Oblast. Sampled for the study were 1686 students of 11 local education establishments. The first stage of the study was designed to profile the sexual behavior in the sample. The second stage was intended to test the ‘Health and Happy Family’ textbook popularity in the context of the Project activity geared to promote healthy lifestyle and control addictions for tobacco, alcohol, drugs etc. The Project has given a special priority to the health-centered physical education via thematic sport festivals and physical education and sport initiatives to get fit for the GTO Complex tests. Based on the study data and analyses, the authors recommend giving a special priority in the young people’s physical education service to the addiction prevention, health-centered physical education, competitions and the healthy lifestyle promotion initiatives and events to cultivate health agenda and responsibility in the young people.