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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Sexuality education in rural Lesotho schools: challenges and possibilities

    The aim of this paper is to present and discuss some of the obstacles to effective sexuality education in rural Lesotho schools and offer some suggestions that could facilitate positive change in the current status of sexuality education. The call for education as a ‘vaccine’ against new HIV infections places teachers at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic, and thus it is imperative to understand how they experience teaching about sexuality. …

  2. Learners perceptions and experience of the content and teaching of sexuality education: Implications for teacher education

    This article aims to explore Grade 11 learners perceptions and experience of the teaching of sexuality education. A total of 270 adolescent boys (n 121) and girls (n 149) from the Heidedal suburb of the greater Mangaung Municipality, South Africa, completed an anonymously written Teaching of Sexuality Education Attitude Scale (TSEAS). The questionnaire was constructed on a six-point Likert scale with response options ranging from 1 (highly disagree) to 6 (highly agree). …

  3. When caring is not enough: The limits of teachers’ support for South African primary school-girls in the context of sexual violence

    Between 2011 and 2012, 40.1% of all sexual offences in South Africa involved children under 18. Important scholarship has demonstrated how large-scale social and economic inequalities structure African girls’ risk to and experience of sexual violence leading to a condemnation of violent masculinities and the social processes that produce it. Under conditions of chronic poverty and unstable living conditions, girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence is increased. …

  4. Lessons learned from a decade implementing comprehensive sexuality education in resource poor settings: The World Starts With Me

    Today, more than half of the world population is under the age of 25 years and one in four is under age 18. The urgency of expanding access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) notably for children and young people in Africa and Asia is greater than ever before. However, many challenges to the implementation and delivery of CSE in resource poor settings have been identified in the literature. CSE’s effectiveness could be strongly improved if these challenges were better met. …

  5. Taire ou exposer la diversité sexuelle ? Impacts des normes de genre et de l'hétéronormativité sur les pratiques enseignantes

    À partir de 22 entretiens et de 243 questionnaires d’enquête complétés par des enseignants du secondaire du Québec (Canada), cet article interroge l’existence de normes relatives au genre et à l’orientation sexuelle en milieu scolaire. Les résultats suggèrent que les pratiques professionnelles des enseignant(e)s, tant lesbiennes, gais et bisexuels (LGB) qu’hétérosexuel(le)s concernant l’homophobie et la diversité sexuelle sont influencées par ces normes. …

  6. Preparing teachers to deliver gender-focused sexuality/HIV education: a case study from Nigeria

    Evidence shows that a focus on gender and power in sexuality/HIV education increases the likelihood of achieving positive sexual health outcomes, and international agencies have called for a shift to a gender-focused approach. However, questions remain about the implementation of such programmes, including how best to prepare teachers to deliver such curricula. In the development of the national school-based HIV prevention curriculum in Nigeria, several state governments partnered with feminist (or like-minded) non-governmental organisations to collaborate on teacher training. …

  7. Sex education in the eyes of Brazilian public school teachers

    This article presents the results of a research about the implementation of sex education in the public schools of Novo Hamburgo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 124 teachers from 56 public schools. The Discourse of the Collective Subject method was applied to analyse the interviews. The results show that sex education is not a crosscutting theme in schools, and that it is mostly dominated by the biomedical discourse. …

  8. Homophobic hallways: Is anyone listening?

    Findings are presented from research in a teacher education course on diversity and the social studies that takes gender and sexuality as subject matter. Five themes emerge from five years of qualitative data related to teaching the course and following the experiences of graduates attempting to apply their learning to new teaching situations. The author offers ideas for infusing discussion of sexuality and homophobia into social studies teaching and teacher education as well as professional development workshops in schools.

  9. Gendered harassment in secondary schools: understanding teachers' (non) interventions

    This article provides an analysis of teachers’ perceptions of and responses to gendered harassment in Canadian secondary schools based on in-depth interviews with six teachers in one urban school district. Gendered harassment includes any behaviour that polices and reinforces traditional heterosexual gender norms such as (hetero)sexual harassment, homophobic harassment, and harassment for gender non-conformity. This study shows that educators experience a combination of external and internal influences that act as either barriers or motivators for intervention. …

  10. LGB and questioning students in schools: the moderating effects of homophobic bullying and school climate on negative outcomes

    Lesbian, gay, and bisexual students (LGB) and those questioning their sexual orientation are often at great risk for negative outcomes like depression, suicidality, drug use, and school difficulties. This study examined how school contextual factors such as homophobic victimization and school climate influence negative outcomes in LGB and questioning middle school students. Participants were 7,376 7th and 8th grade students from a large Midwestern county (50.7% Female, 72.7% White, 7.7% Biracial, 6.9% Black, 5.2% Asian, 3.7% Hispanic, and 2.2% reported "other"). …

  11. Educators' beliefs about raising lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues in the schools: the experience in Ontario, Canada

    This study investigated the experiences of 132 LGBT and heterosexual teachers and school administrators in Ontario, Canada. Participants completed a survey that asked about their comfort addressing LGBT issues in the school setting, how safe they felt, how active they were, and their perceptions of barriers. There were few differences between the LGBT and heterosexual respondents. However, respondents whose school district had an anti-LGBT harassment policy felt more supported, comfortable, and protected. …

  12. Stirring it up or stirring it in? Perspectives on the development of sexualities equality in a faith based primary school

    This article examines what happened within one Church of England primary school during an action research project concerning sexualities. No Outsiders aimed at exploring how teachers developed classroom practices that promoted greater inclusion of sexual minorities, at the same time as working to eradicate homophobic bullying and heterosexism. This examination engages current research methodologies, including post-structural analytics and narrative ethnography, to consider the viewpoints of headteacher and researcher, with a particular reference to faith issues. …

  13. Straight talking: explorations on homosexuality and homophobia in secondary schools in Ireland

    This paper outlines research that was conducted among students, parents, teachers and senior management teams in six secondary schools in the Greater Dublin area of Ireland. The research involved semi-structured interviews and observations. The findings of this research are significant in that it was the first time any data had been gathered on this topic directly from those within the school system. …

  14. Safe haven for girls: can teachers challenge gender violence?

    Introduces a manual developed for South Africa on how to hold 8 interactive workshops with school management to increase awareness and mobilise action towards gender violence in schools. This paper discusses current challenges for government to prioritise the problem including making it part of the national curriculum

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