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Identify the sexual health issue that will be the focus of your essay and any specific perspectives you will be exploring: ie FGC- raising awareness or education.


Core Additional
Discuss a relevant sexual health issue framed around the learning outcomes: So you need to consider theories and concepts of sex and sexuality, models of health promotion, complexities of sexual health promotion within different populations, the impact of policies and interventions and the impacts of ethics, culture or religion.  You will need to consider and analyse these in relation to your chosen topic.



What are you going to discuss in the essay and why

·         Discuss why promoting sexual health is important from a public health and wellbeing point of view.

·         Identify the sexual health issue that will be the focus of your essay and any specific perspectives you will be exploring: ie FGC- raising awareness or education

·         Outline what issues you will be discussing in the essay e.g. the concepts and theories that relate to sexual health, complexities of sexual health promotion in different populations and models of health promotion, impact of sexual health policies and interventions and how factors such as ethics, culture and religion impact on sexual health. These should relate to your topic.

Background (sources and evidence must be cited as appropriate)

·         Discuss what sexual health promotion is and why good sexual health is important for health and wellbeing; you therefore could start with a definition of sexual health. You could include World Health Organization 2006 definition of sexual health as your starting point. Think about how this definition applies to your chosen topic. Don’t just include a definition with no reference to how is applies to your topic.

·         Discuss why you have selected this issue to give a rationale. Why is it a Public Health issue? How does it relate to sexual health promotion? What is the size and scope of the issue? Who is mainly affected and why?

    So we will use an example of FGC/FGM to explore these sections.

Provide a definition of sexual health- consider how this applies to FGC/M. One of the elements of the WHO definition relates to being free from violence and coercion, and using a respectful approach to sexuality- which in relation to FGC is in complete violation of this definition.

Give a broad scope of the issue- so you could discuss the prevalence of FGC- which countries have high rates, what are the types of FGC, what are the health and social outcomes of FGC and how do these impact on sex, and sexuality and sexual health (so for example- how genital cutting impacts on sensation during sex)                             

Body of Essay/Main Section (sources and evidence must be cited as appropriate)

·         So this section is where you need to explore the issue in relation to the learning outcomes. But don’t let these inhibit your flow. Make sure you can construct a logical, coherent discussion throughout.

·         Firstly, consider the theories and concepts of sex and sexuality. Why do certain populations behave in the way they do? Motivations?  Gender differences and issues? Again- this needs to relate to your issue.

·         How and why do we use health promotion models to understand behaviours?  What models are relevant to your issue. The Health Belief Model is used a lot in relation to sexual health, however, you can also explore other models such as Theory of Planned behaviour.  What are the complexities of sexual health promotion in relation to your chosen population?

·         What policies, and interventions have been developed to support effective sexual health promotion relation to your issue. What are the effects of these? What has worked in other areas?

·         Consider an element of culture, ethics, religion. How does this impact on your issue?



So firstly it would be helpful to consider FGC/M in terms of theory. So as FGC relates to issues around gender it might be interesting to consider feminist theory in relation to this issue. This could relate to the use of FGC/M as a way to control female sexuality and behaviour and how women are viewed as subordinates within certain cultures.

How might models of health promotion be hopeful to understand behaviour. For example; Health Belief Model – consider its constructs- what might the perceived benefits and barriers for certain cultures in the practice of genital cutting- some women may fear being stigmatised or shunned from their community which may outweigh their thoughts about the risks to their physical and emotional wellbeing.  What are the challenges of sexual health promotion to populations- how challenging is it to promote good sexual health in communities where adverse practices such as FGC occur- what will help mobilise the community? Such as working with female elders who perform FGC- how might their own views impact on promoting health?

What policies and interventions have been developed to address the issue of FGC- what has worked and why? What hasn’t worked and why? What will help the mobilisation of certain communities? IE empowering women through education.

Consider an aspect such as ethics, religion or culture and how this impacts on sexual health- you might find that you address some of this in your theoretical sections or when addressing other areas such as interventions or challenges?


Are there any recommendations to make based on what you have explored?

Conclusion (sources and evidence must be cited as appropriate)


·         What you think are the key points you have discussed that the reader should take away from your essay. [LO1, LO2, LO3 and LO4]




·         Ensure referencing and in-text citation follows Cite Them Right Online recommendations for Harvard-style referencing.




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