Ethical Approaches to Adolescent Participation in Sexual Health Research

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Journal of Adolescent Health

Adolescent sexual health research studies educate youth and encourage them to practice safe sex. However, young people’s participation in such research may be hindered by requirements for parental consent. This report, based on Planned Parenthood Canada’s ongoing Toronto Teen Survey, finds that parents often prevent teens from accessing sex education, and argues that parental permission for participation in this form of research is unwarranted because teens as young as 14 are competent enough to make informed decisions.

The authors suggest that adolescent sexual health researchers use a community-based participatory research model tailored to the specific community involved, and offer teens confidentiality or anonymity. Free, 8 pages.