The Sexual and Reproductive Health of Younger Adolescents: Research issues in developing countries

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WHO, World Health Organization

The evidence base for what adolescents know about their sexual and reproductive health – together with evidence on the sexual and reproductive attitudes and behaviours of boys and girls living in diverse circumstances and on the risks they face – has grown substantially since the Programme of Action was adopted at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994. Research has focused on 15-19 year olds, yet there is a growing interest in programming for younger adolescents between 10 to 14 years of age.

This paper identifies the research gaps in what is known about the sexual and reproductive health and habits of younger adolescents. In order to identify best practices, the study recommends a multi-country research strategy that will help understand the extent of individual and group variations, particularly gender-based differences, in order to assist in effective programmatic responses to the diverse sexual and reproductive health needs of younger adolescents.

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