research

Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Young Adult Sex Workers (2018)

Youth who exchange or sell sexual services experience significant disparities with regard to sexual health status, sexual health risk behaviours, and access to sexual and reproductive health care. Planned Parenthood Toronto, together with Maggie’s: Toronto Sex Workers’ Action Project and researchers from the University of Toronto, conducted a community-based research project to better understand young adult (age 18-29) sex workers’ sexual and reproductive health needs. The project included focus groups and interviews with 18 young adult sex workers and an online survey with 62 respondents, for a total of 80 participants.

Developing Trans-inclusive Sexual Health Education (2016)

Trans youth experience challenges accessing sexual health services and sex education that validates their unique gender identities and bodies. As a result, some trans people avoid seeking necessary sexual health services, or feel left out of sexual health education materials and conversations. At the same time, many sexual health service providers and educators feel unprepared to work with trans people, or worry about making a mistake due to being uninformed. To date, there have been no trans inclusion guidelines directed at sexual health service providers or educators who work with youth.

Young Queer Women’s Use of the Internet and Digital Technology for Sexual Health Information Seeking (2016)

We conducted a community-based research project to understand more about young queer women’s needs and experiences with finding sexual health information through the Internet and other types of digital technology. This included three focus groups with a total of 18 queer women between the ages of 16-29. We asked questions about what types of technology they used, what sexual health information they looked for online, their positive and negative experiences with online sexual health information seeking, and their suggestions for change. This project was undertaken in partnership with the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at University of Toronto and the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Understanding the Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Young Bisexual Women in Toronto (2015)

We took on this research project because we know that young bisexual women experience a number of disparities and differences around sexual health compared to their heterosexual and lesbian peers. This includes higher rates of teen pregnancy, lower rates of condom use for vaginal sex, more sexual partners, and higher rates of anal sex. Just to be clear – although some research may talk about things like anal sex and higher numbers of sexual partners as risks or problems, in this research project and at Planned Parenthood Toronto, that isn’t the approach we take. We support young bisexual women in the sexual choices they make, and want to better understand what services and information they need in order to make informed choices for themselves and take care of their sexual health in ways that work for them.

Toronto Teen Survey (2009)

Community-based organizations need increased support to provide relevant, inclusive and appropriate programming aimed at improving sexual health outcomes for the youth they serve. The increase in HIV and STI rates, and decrease in sexual health knowledge among youth, combined with the multiple and ever-changing needs of Toronto’s diverse youth communities, demonstrate a need to change the current state of sexual health services and information available to youth. In 2009, Planned Parenthood Toronto released the Toronto Teen Survey (TTS), the result of a long research process to help enrich both the quality and quantity of sexual health information available to Toronto teens and improve the ways in which sexual health promotion and care are delivered.