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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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.

  2. How reliable are reports of early adolescent reproductive and sexual health events in demographic and health surveys?

    CONTEXT: Age at sexual debut, age at first marriage or first union and age at first birth are among the most widely used indicators of health and well-being for female adolescents. However, the accuracy of estimates for these indicators, particularly for younger adolescents, is poorly understood. METHODS: For each of nine countries in Africa and Latin America, Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from two surveys conducted five years apart were used to examine women’s reports of age at sexual debut, marriage or first union, and first birth. …

  3. Discussing sexual orientation and gender in classrooms: a testimonial-based approach to fighting homophobia in schools

    To fight homophobia in schools in Québec, many teachers rely on community organizations such as the Groupe de Recherche et d’Intervention Sociale (Research and Social Intervention Group) to address sexual diversity in class. This article documents major outcomes of these workshops as seen by students. Students identified topics related to sexuality and gender inversion as controversial, especially when involving men. The authors present how GRIS leaders decided to adapt intervention practices following such findings.

  4. The influence of early sexual debut and sexual violence on adolescent pregnancy: a matched case-control study in Jamaica

    CONTEXT: Contraceptive knowledge and use at first sex have increased over time among Jamaican adolescents, yet high unintended pregnancy rates persist. More information on risk factors for adolescent pregnancy is needed to inform programs. METHODS: Structured interviews were conducted with 15–17-year-old females—250 who were currently pregnant and 500 sexually experienced, but never-pregnant, neighborhood-matched controls. …

  5. Prevalence of pattern of risky behaviors for reproductive and sexual health among middle- and high-school students

    This research aimed to establish the prevalence and factors associated with the pattern of risky behavior for reproductive and sexual health (PRBRSH) among secondary education students in Santa Marta, Colombia. A cross-sectional study was done. The PRBRSH was defined as having had two or more out of four possible risky sexual practices across the lifetime. Logistic regression was calculated to control for confounding variables. In total, 804 students reported lifetime sexual intercourse. PRBRSH was reported by 36.1% of the sample. …

  6. 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. …

  7. Risky groups, risky behaviour, and risky persons: Dominating discourses on youth sexual health

    Significant public health attention has been focused on the problems of youth sexual behaviour. Empirical public health research in this area has attempted to account for mostly negative sexual health outcomes (e.g. sexually transmitted infections and teenage pregnancies) by examining individual characteristics and risk-taking behaviour. Public health practice has followed suit, focusing primarily on modifying sexual risk behaviour and lifestyle ‘choices’. …

  8. 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. …

  9. 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. …

  10. School culture and the well-being of same-sex attracted youth

    This study assesses how variations in heteronormative culture in high schools affect the well-being of same-sex-attracted youth. The authors focus on the stigmatization of same-sex attraction (rather than identity or behavior) to better understand how heteronormativity may marginalize a wide range of youth. …

  11. Working with transgender children and their classmates in pre-adolescence: Just be supportive

    This study documents a school district’s coordinated response to an elementary student’s social transition from a gender variant boy to a female gender expression. Data were gathered through analysis of journal entries, lesson plans, and interviews with the child, guardian, and district personnel. Stakeholders reported a favorable outlook on the transition, particularly in the areas of classroom and school interventions, peer involvement, and maintaining safety for all. The greatest concerns related to communication and language. …

  12. Embracing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth in school-based settings

    Youth with invisible challenges constitute a special area of concern for child and youth care workers. Youth struggling with gender and sexual orientation are reported to comprise ten percent of our youth population yet they may often be unknown to teachers and other school personnel. These adolescents face unique challenges in developing their identity and gaining social acceptance. This paper explores the challenges faced by these youth, the consequences of underserving this population and proposes some strategies for improving their educational experience.

  13. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youths' perception of their high school environments and comfort in school

    This study investigated gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents' perceptions of their school environment, their experiences with victimization and professional support in school, and individual, peer, and family factors associated with their perceptions of and comfort in their school environments. Data were gathered from 136 self-identified gay, lesbian, and bisexual high school students in northern New England. …

  14. Sexual orientation and bullying among adolescents in the Growing Up Today Study

    Purpose - To examine the relationship between sexual orientation and past-year reports of bullying victimization and perpetration in a large sample of American youth. Methods - Survey data from 7,559 adolescents aged 14 to 22 who responded to the 2001 wave questionnaire of the Growing Up Today Study were examined cross-sectionally. Multivariable generalized estimating equations regression was performed using the modified Poisson method. …

  15. 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. …

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