Filipino-Canadian youth’s experiences and perspectives of sexuality: a focused ethnography

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Martin, Katrina Mae
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Adolescent sexuality research has been reduced to the discussion of risky sexual behaviors (e.g., unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections) – missing is a discussion of what healthy sexuality means to youth. Even less is known about the sexual experience of youth from diverse ethnic backgrounds. This especially holds true for Filipino-Canadian youth. The purpose of this focused ethnography was to learn from Filipino-Canadian youth about their perspectives and experiences of sexuality with special attention to the influence of culture on their experiences. Youth’s views on the ways to promote healthy sexuality were also explored. Nine Filipino-Canadian youth between the ages of 21 to 28 years participated in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was used to unearth the commonalities of the experiences of the participants. Sexuality was perceived as a holistic concept involving the body, inner self, and relationship with partners. Culture, parents, religion, peers, and media influenced youth’s experiences and perceptions of sexuality. Youth exhibited information-seeking behaviors outside of sexuality education in schools and recommended that parents, teachers, and health care professionals initiate conversations about sexuality with youth. Findings from this study has implications for the development and refinement of services and educational programs that help to promote healthy sexuality among Canadian youth.
sexuality, sex, sexual well-being, sexual health, Filipino, Philippines, culture