Sexual & Reproductive Health
Why is sexual and reproductive health a priority?
Sexual and reproductive health is a fundamental issue for all Victorian women, affecting them at every life stage. It is an important factor in shaping how women develop and maintain meaningful interpersonal relationships; appreciate their bodies; interact with others; express affection, love, and intimacy; and by choice, bear children.
The sexual and reproductive health of women is one of our priorities because:
- 16.9% of Australian women have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection or blood-borne virus at some stage of their life 1.
- One in five Australian women has been coerced into unwanted sex 2. For young women in Years 10 and 12, experience of unwanted sex has increased from 28.1% of sexually active female students in 2002 to 37.8% in 2008 3.
- Over half of all women in Australia have experienced an unplanned pregnancy 4.
- Predominantly, women bear the primary responsibility for contraception.
Sexual and reproductive health is interlinked with many other aspects of health – particularly mental health – and contributes to the overall health and wellbeing of the individual.
What we do to promote sexual and reproductive health
As a statewide organisation, our work to improve the sexual and reproductive health of all Victorian women is directed at achieving systemic change for population-wide health improvements. In doing this, we collaborate with individuals and organisations whose work impacts on the sexual and reproductive health of Victorian women. These include:
- Victorian Government departments
- Members of Parliament
- Key policy and opinion leaders
- Information providers
- Researchers and educators
Sexual and reproductive health resources
Browse our publications and resources relating to sexual and reproductive health.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2004). Australia’s Health 2004 9th Biennial Report, Australian Government: Canberra ↩
- De Visser R O, Smith A M, Rissel C E, Richters J & Grulich A E. Sex in Australia: Experiences of Sexual Coercion in a Representative Sample of Adults. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 2003; 27(2): 198-203. ↩
- Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society. (2009) Fourth National Survey of Australian Secondary Students and Sexual Health 2009. Available online at: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs/downloads/arcshs-research-publications/secondary-students-and-sexual-health-2008.pdf ↩
- Marie Stopes International (2008) Real Choices: Women, contraception and unplanned pregnancy. Available online at: http://www.mariestopes.org.au/research/australia/australia-real-choices-key-findings. ↩
Content Reviewed: 19 February 2009
Last Updated: 25 February 2009