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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. 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.

  3. 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. …

  4. Developing guidelines for comprehensive sexuality education

    Educators, service providers, and health professionals worldwide are advocating that young people receive comprehensive sexuality education to help them become sexually healthy adults and to help them practice safer sexual behaviors, delay the onset of sexual intercourse, and reduce unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates. Though there is often consensus that young people should receive such education, few actually do. This is primarily due to a lack of understanding and consensus about sexuality education goals, components, and standards. …

  5. Guidance for implementing the policy‐related activities of promoting adolescent health through school‐based HIV/STD prevention (funded state education agency version)

    The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for implementing the policy-related required activities for state education agencies awarded funding under Strategy 2: School-Based HIV/STD Prevention. The intended outcome of these activities is to increase the number of funded states and districts that track policy implementation and educate decision makers on policy solutions. There is a separate document for funded local education agencies, with guidance on implementing their specific 1308 policy-related required activities.

  6. Guidance for implementing the policy‐related activities of promoting adolescent health through school‐based HIV/STD prevention (funded local education agency version)

    The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for implementing the policy‐related required activities for local education agencies awarded funding under Strategy 2: School‐Based HIV/STD Prevention. The intended outcome of these activities is to increase the number of funded states and districts that track policy implementation and educate decision makers on policy solutions. There is a separate document for funded state education agencies, with guidance on implementing their specific 1308 policy‐related required activities.

  7. 3Rs campaign kit: rights, respect, responsibility: the campaign

    Rights. Respect. Responsibility.® is Advocates for Youth’s national, long-term campaign giving voice to a new vision of adolescent sexual health. These core values underpin Advocates’ vision of a society where adolescents are valued, public health policy is driven by scientific research, and sexuality is viewed as a normal and healthy part of being human, of being a teen, of being alive.

  8. What works 2011-2012: Curriculum-based programs that help prevent teen pregnancy

    What programs delay sexual initiation, improve contraceptive use among sexually active teens, and/or prevent teen pregnancy? Over the years, The National Campaign has produced and disseminated a number of detailed reports and publications designed to answer this question. Here, in shorthand form, is an overview of what is known about carefully evaluated interventions that help delay sex, improve contraceptive use, and/or prevent teen pregnancy.

  9. Feasibility trial of a film-based educational intervention for increasing boys’ and girls’ intentions to avoid teenage pregnancy: Study protocol

    The World Health Organisation, amongst others, recognises that adolescent men have a vital yet neglected role in reducing teenage pregnancies and that there is a pressing need for educational interventions designed especially for them. This study seeks to fill this gap by determining the feasibility of conducting an effectiveness trial of the If I Were Jack intervention in post-primary schools. This 4-week intervention aims to increase teenagers’ intentions to avoid unintended pregnancy and addresses gender inequalities in sex education by explicitly focusing on young men. …

  10. 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. …

  11. The association between sex education and youth’s engagement in sexual intercourse, age at first intercourse, and birth control use at first sex

    Purpose: Sex education is intended to provide youth with the information and skills needed to make healthy and informed decisions about sex. This study examined whether exposure to formal sex education is associated with three sexual behaviors: ever had sexual intercourse, age at first episode of sexual intercourse, and use of birth control at first intercourse. Methods: Data used were from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, a nationally representativesurvey. The sample included 2019 never-married males and females aged 15–19 years. …

  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. Making HIV prevention programming count: identifying predictors of success in a parent-based HIV prevention program for youth

    Predictors of change in the number of sexual topics parents discussed and responsiveness during sex communication with their preadolescent after participating in a five-session sexual risk reduction intervention for parents were examined. Data were from 339 African American parents of preadolescents enrolled in the intervention arm of a randomized-controlled trial of the Parents’ Matter! Program (PMP). …

  15. Support for comprehensive sexuality education: perspectives from parents of school-age youth

    Controversy about school-based sexuality education in public schools has continued over the past decade, despite mounting evidence that comprehensive sexuality education effectively promotes sexual health and that parents support these programs in public schools. The present study replicates and expands upon previous findings regarding public views on school-based sexuality education. …

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