Sexual Health


It seems difficult to pinpoint a definition for sexual health, because everybody is different, and we all have different sexual preferences.. For your reference, here is a compilation from Defining Sexual Health: A Descriptive Overview, Archives of Sexual Behaviour, (Volume 33(3) Springer Journal), a few organizations listed below have taken the liberty to give us their take on it.

  • Sexual health is the integration of the somatic, emotional and social aspects of sexual being, in ways that are positively enriching and that enhance personality, communication and love. (WHO Technical Reports Series (1975))
  • Sexual health is the experience of the ongoing process of physical, psychological and social-cultural well-being related to sexuality. Sexual health is evidenced in the free and responsible expressions of sexual capabilities that foster harmonious personal and social wellness, enriching individual and social life. (Pan American Health Organization, World Association of Sexology (2001))
  • Sexual health is the ability of women and men to enjoy and express their sexuality and to do so free from risk of sexually transmitted disease, unwanted pregnancy, coercion, violence and discrimination. In order to be sexually healthy, one must be able to have informed, enjoyable, and safe sex, based on self-esteem, a positive approach to human sexuality, and mutual respect in sexual relations. Sexually health experiences enhance life quality and pleasure, personal relationships and communication, and the expression of one’s identity. (Lottes (2000))
    • Sexual health is inextricably bound to both physical and mental health. Just as physical and mental health can contribute to sexual dysfunction and disease, those dysfunctions and disease can contribute to physical and mental health problems. Sexual health is not limited to the absence of disease or dysfunction, nor is its important confined to just the reproductive years. It includes the ability to understand and weigh the risks, responsibilities, outcomes and impacts of sexual actions and to practice abstinence when appropriate. It includes freedom from sexual abuse and discrimination and the ability to integrate their sexuality into their lives, derive pleasure from it, and to reproduce if they so choose. Satcher, Surgeon General’s Report (2001)

Sexual health is defined as an approach to sexuality founded in accurate knowledge, personal awareness, and self-acceptance, where one’s behavior, values, and emotions are congruent and integrated within a person’s winder personality structure and self-definition. Sexual health involves an ability to be intimate with a partner, to communicate explicitly about sexual needs and desires, to be sexually functional (to have desire, become aroused, and obtain sexual fulfillment), to act intentionally and responsibly, and to set appropriate sexual boundaries. Sexual health has a communal aspect, reflecting not only self-acceptance and respect, but also respect, but also respect and appreciation for individual differences and diversity, and a feeling of belonging to and involvement in one’s sexual culture(s). Sexual health includes a sense of self-esteem, personal attractiveness and competence, as well as freedom from sexual dysfunction, sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual assault/coercion. Sexual health affirms sexuality as a positive force, enhancing other dimensions of one’s life. –(Robinson et al. (2002))


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