Health  Vol.4 No.7 , July 2012
The perspective of peer educators: What are their experiences, feelings, and thoughts?
ABSTRACT
Introduction: Although peer education is accepted as one of the most effective methods for sexual and reproductive health education, the feelings, thoughts and self-affection of peer educators are not very well known. Our aim is to investigate what it is like to be a peer educator. Methods: This phenomenological study was conducted in Izmir as a part of “Modern Stork Legends” project supported by the European Union. Two focus group interviews were made with 18 peer educators of the project. Data were analyzed with NVivo 8 BS software. Results: All of the students stated that they participate in the project “to enhance their knowledge” and “to inform their social circle”. They are concerned about the tasks and expectations, and anxious about the subject of counseling. They think that anything related with sexuality is taboo in Turkey and it was also the same for them. They observed that, gender defined roles are reflected on students’ behaviors and attitudes. Their tolerance in understanding of inhibitions and hesitations of their peers formed the basis of their success. They stated that working in this project helped them to overcome their prejudices and contributed their development in many ways. Conclusion: Peer educators internalize substantial amount of knowledge and gain self-confidence and important skills such as communication, problem solving and access to information.

Cite this paper
Güldal, D. , Mevsim, V. , Günvar, T. and Özçakar, N. (2012) The perspective of peer educators: What are their experiences, feelings, and thoughts?. Health, 4, 349-356. doi: 10.4236/health.2012.47057.
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