Young Canadians are increasingly turning to social media to get answers to their sexual and reproductive health questions, say advocacy groups.
Sixty-two per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 24 said they seek for information online about “sexual and reproductive health, sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity,” based on a national survey by LetsStopAIDS. Twenty-one per cent of respondents specifically turn to social media.
For Shamin Mohamed Jr., founder and president of LetsStopAIDS, young Canadians turning to online sources isn’t surprising as they will answer a various range of questions — nuanced information that’s relevant to the experiences young Canadians are having.
“As young people, we’re very diverse, we’ve many opinions and we would like to also feel comfortable when it’s the proper moment to bring forward those questions,” he says.
TK Pritchard, executive director of the SHORE Centre, also explains that online sources will dive into the small print of various identities that a college’s sex-ed curriculum doesn’t, delivering more impactful, relevant information to those teens.
“You furthermore may can see a whole lot of really great social media conversation that’s talking about inclusive sexual health, which individuals might not be getting of their schools,” says Pritchard. “You see a whole lot of content online particularly talking about queer folks and really trying to offer more context for sexual education from a queer lens.