Guiding Principle for Good Youth Reproductive Health Policy
Policy should acknowledge the cultural context for YRH, and assign roles to parents, teachers, and other influential adults. Although respecting culture is a principle that applies to all reproductive health policy, it has particular resonance with youth-focused efforts. YRH programs often face resistance because they challenge deeply held cultural beliefs about sex, parenting, and the roles that men and women play. The success of youth reproductive health programs depends largely on recognizing these underlying beliefs, understanding how they manifest themselves as barriers, and employing a range of culturally sensitive strategies to address these obstacles. Policies are generally good at incorporating this guiding principle, mainly because most policies are well grounded in a country's social and political context.
Addressing Cultural Sensitivities. An overview from the FOCUS on Young Adults program.
Q. Can "respecting culture" limit access?
While important to appropriately ground policies in a country's culture, some may see this guiding principle as a way to limit the rights of youth to quality reproductive health care. This issue arises often in the debate over minor consent laws.