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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. From ideas to action: addressing barriers to comprehensive sexuality education in the classroom

    Evidence for the positive outcomes of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) on adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) is well documented.

  2. I felt like the world was falling down on me. Adolescent girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Dominican Republic

    Adolescent girls in the Dominican Republic are being denied their sexual and reproductive rights, including access to safe abortion. “I Felt Like the World Was Falling Down on Me” documents how authorities have stalled the rollout of a long-awaited sexuality education program, leaving hundreds of thousands of adolescent girls and boys without scientifically accurate information about their health. The country has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). …

  3. Do information technologies improve teenagers' sexual education? Evidence from a randomized evaluation in Colombia

    Across public junior high schools in 21 Colombian cities, we conducted a randomized evaluation of a mandatory six-month internet-based sexual education course. Six months after finishing the course, we find a 0.4 standard deviation improvement in knowledge, a 0.2 standard deviation improvement in attitudes, and a 55% increase in the likelihood of redeeming vouchers for condoms as a result of taking the course. …

  4. Challenges to implementing national comprehensive sexuality education curricula in low- and middle-income countries: case studies of Ghana, Kenya, Peru and Guatemala

    School-based comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) can help adolescents achieve their full potential and realize their sexual and reproductive health and rights. This is particularly pressing in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where high rates of unintended pregnancy and STIs among adolescents can limit countries’ ability to capitalize on the demographic dividend. While many LMICs have developed CSE curricula, their full implementation is often hindered by challenges around program planning and roll-out at the national and local level. …

  5. Short-term effects of a rights-based sexuality education curriculum for high-school students: a cluster-randomized trial

    An emerging model for sexuality education is the rights-based approach, which unifies discussions of sexuality, gender norms, and sexual rights to promote the healthy sexual development of adolescents. A rigorous evaluation of a rights-based intervention for a broad population of adolescents in the U.S. has not previously been published. This paper evaluates the immediate effects of the Sexuality Education Initiative (SEI) on hypothesized psychosocial determinants of sexual behavior.

  6. Integrating gender and rights into sexuality education: field reports on using It's All One

    International policy agreements, along with emerging evidence about factors influencing programme effectiveness, have led to calls for a shift in sexuality education toward an approach that places gender norms and human rights at its heart. Little documentation exists, however, about the degree to which this shift is actually taking place on the ground or what it entails. Field experiences in using new curriculum tools, such as It's All One, offer one lens onto these questions. To gain a sense of practitioners' experience with this tool, a two-part exercise was conducted. …

  7. Sexual and reproductive health and rights for the next decades: What's been achieved? What lies ahead?

    This Global Public Health Special Issue ‘SRHR for the next decades: What's been achieved? What lies ahead?’ assesses progress 20 years after the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which established the sexual and reproductive health and rights framework for population and health policy (United Nations [UN], 1995). …

  8. The miseducation of Latin American girls: poor schooling makes pregnancy a rational choice

    Our interest in understanding the determinants of adolescent childbearing and how adolescent childbearing influences educational trajectories derive from a concern about the inverse relationship between educational outcomes and adolescent fertility. Through in-depth interviews with 118 women, we contrast the educational trajectories of adolescent and adult child-bearers in urban neighborhoods in Paraguay and Peru. The findings suggest that adolescents who face obstacles that discourage academic achievement and high aspirations in life are also more likely to bear children. …

  9. Invited commentary: Broadening the evidence for adolescent sexual and reproductive health and education in the United States

    Scientific research has made major contributions to adolescent health by providing insights into factors that influence it and by defining ways to improve it. However, US adolescent sexual and reproductive health policies-particularly sexuality health education policies and programs-have not benefited from the full scope of scientific understanding. From 1998 to 2009, federal funding for sexuality education focused almost exclusively on ineffective and scientifically inaccurate abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) programs. …

  10. Comprehensive sexuality education: the challenges and opportunities of scaling-up

    This publication is part of an ongoing programme of work initiated by UNESCO in 2008 to provide technical guidance and implementation support for sexuality education programmes, as a platform for HIV prevention, treatment and care. It emphasizes the challenges and opportunities for scaling up comprehensive sexuality education in school settings. Building on indepth interviews with key informants involved in past and ongoing work on sexuality education, this publication provides conceptual and practical guidance on definitions and strategies for scaling-up. …

  11. Multifaceted Adolescent Reproductive Health Education Strategies in Panama

    Reproductive health education relates directly to six of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, including that of combating HIV/AIDS. The need for high-impact adolescent sexual and preoductive health care programs has become a primary concern for global health organizations. Regarding HIV/AIDS prevalence, Panama is at a critical point in which the situation can either drastically improve or deteriorate depending on how it is addressed. …

  12. 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. …

  13. 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. …

  14. First sexual intercourse and subsequent regret in three developing countries

    The authors analyzed the reasons behind first sex, cases of regret, and the association between reasons and regret. They provided a questionnaire to 8,495 high school students ages 14–18 years residing in the Philippines, El Salvador, and Peru. Sexually active participants were asked what circumstances led them to become involved in their first sexual relationship. They also were asked whether they regretted having already had sexual relationships. …

  15. Prevalence and correlates of sexual risk behaviors among Jamaican adolescents

    Despite high levels of sexual activity and risk behaviors among Jamaican youth, few population-based studies have examined their prevalence or correlates. The prevalence of three sexual risk behaviors was assessed using data from the 2008-2009 Jamaican Reproductive Health Survey on a subsample of adolescents aged 15-19 who neither were in a union nor had a child. Factors associated with the risk behaviors were examined separately for females and males, using bivariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression. …

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