Current article describes how religious young people and the religious authorities of their communities understand sexuality. Knowledge is based on personal experiences as well as members of a religious community. Analysis investigates the manner public policies devoted to the sexual health of young people take religiosity into account within the context of a lay state and within the context of the right to disease prevention. Twenty-six open and half-structured interviews were undertaken in different communities (Catholic communities, Umbanda, Candomblé and different Evangelic denominations) of the metropolitan region of São Paulo SP Brazil. Interviews covered sexual initiation, marriage, pregnancy, contraception and STD/Aids prevention, homosexuality, abortion and human rights. It has been reported that youth and religious authorities experience the tension between tradition and modernity and distinct discourses on sexuality. As religious subjects (of the religious discourse) and sexual subjects (of sexuality discourses), they should be integrated into programs as subjects with their rights, within their own religiosity terms.
Young people; religion; sexuality