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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  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. Parents’ and teachers’ views on sexual health education and screening for sexually transmitted infections among in-school adolescent girls in Kenya: a qualitative study

    Background: To successfully develop and implement school-based sexual health interventions for adolescent girls, such as screening for Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Trichomonas vaginalis, it is important to understand parents’ and teachers’ attitudes towards sexual health education and acceptability of sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening interventions. Methods: In this qualitative study, we approached parents and teachers from three high schools to participate in in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus-group discussions (FGDs). …

  4. 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. …

  5. What is best practice in sex and relationship education? A synthesis of evidence, including stakeholders’ views

    Sex and relationship education (SRE) is regarded as vital to improving young people's sexual health, but a third of schools in England lacks good SRE and government guidance is outdated. The authors aimed to identify what makes SRE programmes effective, acceptable, sustainable and capable of faithful implementation. […] They identified key features of effective and acceptable SRE. Their best practice criteria can be used to evaluate existing programmes, contribute to the development of new programmes and inform consultations around statutory SRE.

  6. Assessing the effect of teenage pregnancy on achieving universal basic education in Ghana: a case study of Upper Denkyira West District

    The consequences of teenage pregnancy are gigantic and inimical to the wellbeing of adolescent population as well as development in the broad-spectrum. As a result, this study assessed the effect of teenage pregnancy on achieving universal basic education in Ghana: a case study of Upper Denkyira West District. The research design employed for this study was the mixed approach. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were applied for the study. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were applied in selecting respondents for the study and the sample size was 80. …

  7. 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. …

  8. Sexuality education in India: examining the rhetoric, rethinking the future

    Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) has been recognised globally as key to helping young people assert their sexual and reproductive rights. In India too, there is growing awareness of the importance of providing CSE not only to reduce sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies and abortions but also to teach important life skills. Simultaneously, lack of political will and conflicting interests among certain religious and political factions have ensured that no uniform CSE curriculum has been implemented throughout the country. …

  9. Scaling up comprehensive sexuality education in Nigeria: from national policy to nationwide application

    Nigeria is one of few countries that reports having translated national policies on school-based comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) into near-nationwide implementation. We analysed data using the World Health Organization-ExpandNet framework, which provides a systematic structure for planning and managing the scaling up of health innovations. We examined how Nigeria's nationwide programme was designed and executed. Since 2002, Nigeria has developed a well thought through strategy to scale up CSE. …

  10. What does not work in adolescent sexual and reproductive health: a review of evidence on interventions commonly accepted as best practices

    Youth centers, peer education, and one-off public meetings have generally been ineffective in facilitating young people's access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, changing their behaviors, or influencing social norms around adolescent SRH. Approaches that have been found to be effective when well implemented, such as comprehensive sexuality education and youth-friendly services, have tended to flounder as they have considerable implementation requirements that are seldom met. …

  11. Using Drama for School-Based Adolescent Sexuality Education in Zaria, Nigeria

    This paper describes the use of drama and participatory methods in a girls-only secondary school in Zaria, Nigeria, as a means of sexuality education, carried out by the Nigerian Popular Theatre Alliance and the Second Chance Organization of Nigeria. The issues addressed had to come from the students, to allow them to develop critical thinking and learn useful lessons. The topics that concerned the group of 15 girls who participated from the school included abortion, premarital sex and pregnancy, teacher–student relationships and lesbianism. …

  12. Differences among male/female adolescents participating in a school-based teenage education program (STEP) focusing on HIV prevention in India

    With the rising threat of HIV in India, youth are an important group to reach for prevention education. This pilot study tested the efficacy of STEP (School-based Teenage Education Program focusing on HIV Prevention) for school children. This pilot study randomized 25 schools in Mumbai. …

  13. 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. …

  14. Sexual and reproductive health and rights: implications for comprehensive sex education among young people in Uganda

    This paper presents the findings from an explorative study comparing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) against local realities for young people in Uganda. This was done by analysing statements by Ugandan adolescents extracted from focus group discussions relating to two SRHRs central in this research: (1) the right of young people to complete and accurate information; and (2) the right to self determination. We found discrepancies between these universally formulated rights and the (political, economic and community) context young Ugandans live in. …

  15. 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. …

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