Reproductive education seeks both to reduce the risks of potentially negative outcomes from the behaviour like unwanted or unplanned pregnancies and infection with sexually transmitted diseases, and to enhance the quality of relationships.
It is also about developing young people’s ability to make decisions over their entire lifetime. If the education is going to be effective, it needs to include opportunities for young people to develop skills, as it can be hard for them to act based on only having information.
The kinds of skills young people develop as part of the education are linked to life-skills that are more general. For example, being able to communicate, listen, negotiate, ask for and identify sources of help and advice, are useful life-skills and can be applied in terms of relationships.
Effectively, such education develops young people’s skills in negotiation, decision-making, assertion and listening. Other important skills include being able to recognise pressures from other people and to resist them, deal with and challenge prejudice, seek help from adults - including parents, caretakers and professionals - through the family, community and health and welfare services.
It also helps equip young people with the skills to be able to differentiate between accurate and inaccurate information, discuss a range of moral and social issues, including different cultural attitudes and sensitive issues like abortion and contraception.