[ONLINE] University of Aveiro, Portugal

October 21, 22 and 23 2020

The gap in the educational system: the non-discussion of the female body and its consequences in society

Isabel Schulz Castro Nunes 
Maria Clara Ramos Costa 
Samara Ferreira Andrade

For centuries, female presence has been excluded from countless dimensions of society: politics, work, science. In addition, general questions to all individuals, such as sexuality, body, health, were silenced for women, resulting in ignorance and mystery: a fertile ground for the construction of prejudices. Allied to all this process of invisibilization, the media, with its important role in the building of standards of beauty and behavior, alienates a series of young people, who remain increasingly distant from their individualities. Based on that, there is a need for education regarding the body for adolescents and youngsters, in order to increase self-knowledge, which has positive impacts on several aspects such as self-esteem, health, sexuality, etc. The research then aimed to assess what teenagers between 15 and 19 years old that are students at the Federal Institute of Bahia Campus Salvador (IFBA) have more doubts and what information needs they have and propose ways to solve them. With that purpose, questionnaires were applied with questions about body, sexuality, contraceptive methods, menstruation and self-esteem, both in the internal and external context of IFBA, having been answered by women between 13 and 61 years old. As a result, 45% of the participating women did not know how to identify all vulva’s organs and 87% stated that the approach to bodies and sexuality in school is not satisfactory. The data obtained confirmed the hypotheses and the urgency to propose ways to change this panorama that contributes to the perpetuation of patriarchy in contemporary society.

Keywords: Sexuality; body; self-esteem; educational system; teenagers.