Sexual Health Education to all Medical Students in Europe

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ESSM & MJCSM
ESSM & MJCSM signed this petition

MJCSM AND ESSM PETITION ON SEXUAL MEDICINE TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT and EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY AUTHORITIES

1. Premise
Sexual Medicine (SM) is a relatively young science, multidisciplinary in nature, encompassing all aspects of sexual health from the bio-psycho-social perspective of the Systems Medicine, a new interdisciplinary field of study, where the individual or the couple is considered as a result of the interaction between biochemical, physiological, psychological and environmental variables . Although the World Health Organization (WHO) includes sexual health in the definition of overall health, well-being, and quality of life, SM is still not adequately recognized by the very large majority of European medical schools. However, plenty of studies have shown not only the high prevalence of sexual dysfunctions and their impact on intrapsychic, relational, and general health, but also the exquisite ability of the sexual dysfunctions themselves to predict or to be comorbid with a number of Non Communicable chronic Diseases (NCDs) i. Finally, the traditional belief that sexology grounds more on opinions than on evidence is no more tenable, taking into account that the scientific production in SM has increased dramatically in the last 20 years, being a part of the mainstream science.
Therefore, considering:
a. the development of sophisticated diagnostic techniques in SM,
b. the growing availability of a number of specific pharmacological and surgical therapies for sexual dysfunctions,
c. the importance of sexual counseling in general health during the lifespan and in the large majority of diseases,
d. the large and widespread interest in sexual health,
e. and the need of patients to get professional care and help for their sexual concerns, problems and dysfunctions,
the students of medicine and the students of the medical and health care professionals within various specialties must be prepared to deal with medical and psycho-social aspects related to sexual health .
The Multidisciplinary Joint Committee of Sexual Medicine (MJCSM), a body of the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS), supports excellence in SM and diffusion of good sexological praxis by setting and defining educational standards and accrediting training institutions, identifying minimal requirements for training, and developing an assessment framework. For all these reasons, the MJCSM recognizes the need of improving the impact of SM on academic and health institutions at the European level.

2. Petition
The MJCSM, with the support of the UEMS and its boards involved in SM, and with the endorsement of the European Society of Sexual Medicine (ESSM), promotes to the European Parliament, and finally to the National University Authorities in Europe:
1) Defining SM as a part of medicine dealing with human sexuality and its disorders, in order to improve sexual health through the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of conditions or diseases that involve gender identity, sexual function, sexual and/or partnership experience and behavior, and sexual trauma and its consequences;
2) Establishing SM as an integral and obligatory part of the core curriculum for students in all European medical schools;
3) Establishing SM in the core curriculum of medical specialties directly involved in the field of SM (dermatology & venereology, endocrinology, internal medicine, obstetrics & gynecology, psychiatry, urology, rehabilitation etc.) necessary for the medical management sexual dysfunctions at specialist level;
4) Define standards of qualifications for academic teachers in the field of SM.

Hence, European medical schools should:
a. develop students’ knowledge and understanding about sexual function, gender identity, sexual orientation, and the diversity of human sexual expression and behavior;
b. teach diagnosis and integrated therapies of the major sexual dysfunctions from early to old age;
c. recognize the role of sexual dysfunctions as a precocious biomarker in identifying NCDs
d. promote the role of the medical doctor in SM and in the prevention of sexual dysfunctions;
e. improve student’s ability to communicate about sexuality and sexual health and about mutual respect of genders and sexual orientations.

In summary,
THIS PETITION ADVOCATES THE NEED OF ALL STUDENTS OF THE EUROPEAN MEDICAL SCHOOLS TO RECEIVE SPECIFIC EDUCATION AND FORMAL ACADEMIC LEARNING IN SEXUAL MEDICINE