World Sexual Health Day: Consent

couple holding hands outdoors in a meadow, world sexual health day, safe sexual health experiences, safe sex, consent

Every September 4th since 2010, the World Association of Sexual Health has celebrated World Sexual Health Day (WSHD) “to raise awareness about the importance of sexual health, rights, justice, and pleasure for ALL.” The World Health Organization defines sexual health as “a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences free of coercion, discrimination, and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected, and fulfilled.”

This year’s theme for WSHD is consent. Consent is permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. We are used to hearing about consent as it relates to sex, but consent goes beyond that. Consent should be present in every interaction between two people at any age. Consent can help people to understand and respect each other’s boundaries. There is still a lot of work to do in order to create a culture of consent.

Consent is a crucial element of any healthy relationship. We must educate ourselves and others on what it means and how to obtain it. In addition, it is essential to respect and value everyone’s autonomy and choices in sexual matters, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or any other factor. This year’s theme encourages us to reflect on our behavior and how we can positively impact our communities. It is a chance to raise awareness, start conversations, and build communities where everyone feels safe, respected, and empowered.


About Between Us

Between Us is a grant-funded program from the Minnesota Department of Health that creates access to confidential reproductive healthcare for youth and young adults who receive their care at Hennepin Healthcare. Teens have the right to confidentiality for certain kinds of care under Minnesota’s Minor Consent Law. Between Us works to transform primary care into a more teen-friendly environment, welcoming teens and their parents, while also providing confidential care when needed.

Posted in: , ,