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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Rethinking sexual agency: proposing a multicomponent model based on young people’s life stories

    Sexual health policies explicitly aim to encourage young people to take responsibility for their sexuality to prevent adverse outcomes such as unintended pregnancies, STIs and sexual assault. In Europe and North America, ‘choice’ has become a central concept in sexual and reproductive health policy making. However, the concept of choice is not unproblematic, not least because the cultural emphasis on individual responsibility obscures structural limitations and inequalities, and mutual responsibility between partners. …

  2. A farewell to abstinence and fidelity? Comment

    Sex has regularly proven to be a polarising issue for the UN Member States, and the 2016 High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS on June 8–10 was no exception. The Political Declaration adopted at the meeting addresses the sexual health needs of young people (15–24 years), including adolescents (11–19 years). 2000 new HIV infections occur among young people every day. HIV is the leading cause of death among adolescents in Africa, and the second-highest cause of death worldwide in this age group. …

  3. Perception of students’ teachers’ and parents’ towards sexuality education in Calabar south local government area of Cross River State, Nigeria

    This study was aimed at assessing the perception of students, teachers and perception in Calabar south local government area of Cross River State, Nigeria. A cross sectional survey was employed and a structured questionnaire was used to generate both qualitative and quantitative data from 850 respondents using the multi-stage stratified sampling technique. Most students were within the age bracket of 13-18 476 (95.2%), teachers were mostly within 25-29 years 54 (27.0%) and parents were mostly 40-44 years of age 22 (22.0%). …

  4. Youth in a void: sexuality, HIV/AIDS and communication in Kenyan public schools

    The disappearance of traditional sex education during rites of passage in African societies has left many youth uncertain of where to look for information. Against this backcloth, the objectives of this study were to identify knowledge gaps amongst adolescents in Kenya regarding sexuality, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health. A thematic analysis was conducted of questions posed by 735 school youth aged 12–18 years from Meru and Kajiado Districts. Results show that many questions showed curiosity and anxiousness. …

  5. Efficacy of a theory-based abstinence-only intervention over 24 months: A randomized controlled trial with young adolescents

    Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of an abstinence-only intervention in preventing sexual involvement in young adolescents. Design:Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Urban public schools. Participants:A total of 662 African American students in grades 6 and 7. …

  6. Consequences of sex education on teen and young adult sexual behaviors and outcomes

    This study examined whether formal sex education is associated with sexual health behaviors and outcomes using recent nationally representative survey data. Data used were from 4,691 male and female individuals aged 15–24 years from the 2006–2008 National Survey of Family Growth. Receipt of sex education, regardless of type, was associated with delays in first sex for both genders, as compared with receiving no sex education. …

  7. Community-level successes and challenges to implementing adolescent sex education programs

    Best practices for adolescent sex education recommend science-based approaches. However, little is known about the capacity and needs of organizations who implement sex education programs on the local level. The purpose of this research was to describe successes and challenges of community organizations in implementing science-based sex education. Using qualitative methods, we interviewed program directors and educators in 17 state funded adolescent pregnancy prevention/sex education programs as part of a larger mixed methods evaluation. …

  8. Mother-daughter communication about sexual maturation, abstinence and unintended pregnancy: Experiences form an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya

    Parental communication and support is associated with improved developmental, health and behavioral outcomes in adolescence. This study explores the quality of mother-daughter communication about sexual maturation, abstinence and unintended pregnancy in Korogocho, an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya. We use data from 14 focus group discussions (n = 124) and 25 interviews with girls aged 12-17, mothers of teenage girls, and key informant teachers. …

  9. The impact of abstinence and comprehensive sex and STD/HIV education programs on adolescent sexual behavior

    In an effort to reduce unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease (STD) in adolescents, both abstinence and comprehensive sex and STD/HIV education programs have been proffered. Based on specified criteria, the author searched for and reviewed 56 studies that assessed the impact of such curricula (8 that evaluated 9 abstinence programs and 48 that evaluated comprehensive programs) on adolescents’ sexual behavior. Study results indicated that most abstinence programs did not delay initiation of sex and only 3 of 9 had any significant positive effects on any sexual behavior. …

  10. The Case for a New Approach to Sex Education Mounts; Will Policymakers Heed the Message?

    Abstinence-only-until-marriage education is a key component of social conservatives' global moral and religious agenda, and the cornerstone of the Bush administration's approach to reducing U.S. teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates. …

  11. School-Based Sexuality Education: The Issues and Challenges

    This article discusses the controversy and challenges that surrounded providing sex education in the U.S., including the Franklin Country (North Carolina) school board ordering the removal of textbook chapters dealing with sexual behavior, contraception, HIV/AIDs, and STIs from 9th graders health textbooks, and the state requirement to promote abstinence until marriage. It discusses the abstinence only movement and reviews efforts to undermine sexuality education dating back to the 1960s, while also providing the teachers' perspectives and difficulties faced. …

  12. Changing emphases in sexuality education in U.S. public secondary schools, 1988-1999

    This study analyzed data from a nationally representative survey of 3,754 7th-12th grade teachers of the subjects most often responsible for sexuality education. These results are compared to the subset of 1,767 teachers who actually taught sexuality education and another comparable survey from 1988. By 1999, 93% of respondents indicated that sexuality education was being taught in ther schools. This education covered STIs, abstinence, birth control, abortion and sexual orientation. …

  13. Sexuality Education in Fifth and Sixth Grades in U.S. Public Schools, 1999

    This study was conducted in 1999 using data from a nationally representative survey of 5th and 6th grader teachers (n=1789) in 5,543 public schools. Analyses were conducted of topics and skills taught relating to sexuality education, grades to which they were taught, teaching approaches, pressures experienced, support received and their needs. Seventy-two percent of the teachers reported that sexuality education is taught in their schools in at least one grade. …

  14. Sexuality Education: Our Current Status, and an Agenda for 2010

    This article presents three articles in this issue of Family Planning Perspectives. They are on changing foci within secondary school sexuality education (Changing Emphases), sexuality education for Grades 5-6 (Grades 5-6) and adolescents perceptions of reproductive health education (Adolescent Views). "Changing Emphases" discusses teachers' perceptions of a marked change from balanced treatment of abstinence and safer sexual practices in 1988 to a greater emphasis on abstinence (and abstinence only) in 1999. …

  15. Sex Education and AIDS Education in the Schools: What States and Large School Districts Are Doing

    In the majority of states, sex education is mandatory or strongly recommended in public schools. Forty-eight states and most of the large school districts across the country support sex education, including about STIs and abstinence. Fewer districts and states make education on pregnancy prevention mandatory. Larger school districts cover a broader range of sex-related topics, especially related to preventing pregnancy, than state curricula. Such districts also provide greater support to instructors through curricula provision, training and other activities, than do states. …

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