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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. HIV/AIDS national strategic plans of Sub-Saharan African countries: an analysis for gender equality and sex-disaggregated HIV targets

    National Strategic Plans (NSPs) for HIV/AIDS are country planning documents that set priorities for programmes and services, including a set of targets to quantify progress toward national and international goals. The inclusion of sex- disaggregated targets and targets to combat gender inequality is important given the high disease burden among young women and adolescent girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, yet no comprehensive gender-focused analysis of NSP targets has been performed. …

  2. Creating an enabling environment for adolescent sexual and reproductive health: a framework and promising approaches

    This article provides a conceptual framework and points out the key elements for creating enabling environments for adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH). An ecological framework is applied to organize the key elements of enabling environments for ASRH. At the individual level, strategies that are being implemented and seem promising are those that empower girls, build their individual assets, and create safe spaces. …

  3. 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.

  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. 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. …

  6. Is there a need for a European-wide initiative on comprehensive sexuality education? Reflections from Croatia

    This commentary concerns the policy brief published in this issue (European Expert Group on Sexuality Education 2015). It reflects the author’s experiences with the outcomes of efforts to introduce sexuality education in Croatia, followed by a brief history of events related to the recent introduction of sexuality education in Croatian primary and secondary schools.

  7. 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). …

  8. Between tradition and modernity: girls’ talk about sexual relationships and violence in Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique

    This paper interrogates the influence of a tradition-modernity dichotomy on perspectives and practices on sexual violence and sexual relationships involving girls in three districts of Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique. Through deploying an analytical framework of positioning within multiple discursive sites, the authors argue that although the dichotomy misrepresents the complexity of contemporary communities, it is nonetheless deployed by girls, educational initiatives and researchers in their reflections on girls’ sexual practices and sexual violence. …

  9. Engaging school personnel in making schools safe for girls in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique

    Girls are vulnerable to HIV in part because the social systems in which they live have failed to protect them. This study evaluates a program aimed at making schools safe for girl learners in order to reduce girls’ vulnerability to HIV in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique. In addition to an extensive process evaluation with school personnel program participants, program facilitators, and community members, a cross-sectional post-intervention survey was conducted among adolescent girls in the three countries. The total sample size was 1249 adolescent girls (ages 11–18). …

  10. 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. …

  11. 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. …

  12. 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.

  13. 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. …

  14. Comprehensive sexuality education, culture and gender: the effect of the cultural setting on a sexuality education programme in Ethiopia

    Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is recognised as an effective method of sexual health education, with the school identified as a fitting site of implementation. Its holistic and participatory nature endeavours to develop the knowledge, attitudes and life-skills of students to help them secure their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This qualitative study aimed to better understand aspects of CSE implementation in one context. …

  15. Emerging issues in school bullying research and prevention science

    Titles from this issue: Associations between peer victimization and academic performance; The biological underpinnings of peer victimization: understanding why and how the effects of bullying can last a lifetime; Cyberbullying: what does research tell us?; Teacher–student agreement on “bullies and kids they pick on” in elementary school classrooms: gender and grade differences; Understanding homophobic behavior and its implications for policy and practice; The influence of psychosocial factors on bullying involvement of students with disabilities; The role of social-emotional learning in bully …

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