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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. The revised international technical guidance on sexuality education - a powerful tool at an important crossroads for sexuality education

    In January 2018, UNESCO, together with UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, and the WHO, completed the substantial technical and political process of updating the International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education, thereby unifying a UN position on rationale, evidence, and guidance on designing and delivering comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).

  3. What do young people think about their school-based sex and relationship education? A qualitative synthesis of young people’s views and experiences

    Objectives: Although sex and relationship education (SRE) represents a key strand in policies to safeguard young people and improve their sexual health, it currently lacks statutory status, government guidance is outdated and a third of UK schools has poor-quality SRE. We aimed to investigate whether current provision meets young people's needs. Design: Synthesis of qualitative studies of young people's views of their school-based SRE. Setting: Eligible studies originated from the UK, Ireland, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Iran, Brazil and Sweden. …

  4. 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to improving young people's sexual health, but a third of schools in England lacks good SRE and government guidance is outdated.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.

  5. 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.

  6. A view from England and Wales

    This commentary outlines developments regarding Sex and Relationships Education (SRE, akin to Comprehensive Sex Education) in England and Wales over the past 15 years or so.

  7. Sexuality education - what is it?

    This policy brief developed by the European Expert Group on Sexuality Education provides an overview of key issues in sexuality education. It focuses primarily on sexuality education in Europe and Central Asia but is also relevant to countries outside of these regions.

  8. Key Issues in Sex Education: reflecting on teaching, learning and assessment

    Drawing upon critical reflections of staff and student experiences of teaching, learning and assessment on an undergraduate module entitled Key Issues in Sex Education, we discuss the strategies used to engage students in debates around sex and relationships education (SRE). To date, there is little research which evaluates how formal assessments can be made relevant to students' exploration of this subject. …

  9. Sexuality education as a collective responsibility: a new health education curriculum in Cyprus

    The development of health promotion is typically viewed as a reaction against both the excessive responsibility placed on individuals concerning their health-related choices and the absence of recognition of environmental factors associated with personal decision making. What though does sexuality education mean from the perspective of health promotion? According to one approach, it implies the existence of a curriculum that recognises the environmental factors affecting sexuality and sexual behaviour. …

  10. Impact and cost-effectiveness analysis of the national school-based sexuality education programme in Estonia

    Policy-makers making decisions on the implementation of school-based sexuality education (SE) programmes face two important questions: (1) what are the costs of implementing and scaling up SE programmes, and (2) what are the impacts? This paper responds to these questions by retrospectively assessing costs, impact and cost-effectiveness of the national school-based SE programme in Estonia 1997–2009. The three-year curriculum had been taught to 190,000 students at the end of 2009. The cost of reaching one student was USD 32.90 and the total costs were USD 5.6 million. …

  11. School-based sexuality education in Portugal: strengths and weaknesses

    Portugal, like many other countries, faces obstacles regarding schoolbased sexuality education. This paper explores Portuguese schools’ approaches to implementing sexuality education at a local level, and provides a critical analysis of potential strengths and weaknesses. Documents related to sexuality education in a convenience sample of 89 schools were analysed and findings confirm both the results of the few existing Portuguese studies on the subject and commonalities in sexuality education between Portugal and other European countries. …

  12. Long Live Love. The implementation of a school-based sex-education program in the Netherlands

    Implementation of health education programs is often inadequately considered or not considered at all in planning, developing and evaluating interventions. With the focus being predominantly on the adoption stage, little is known about the factors influencing the implementation and continuation stages of the diffusion process. This study contributes to the understanding of factors that promote or impede each stage of the diffusion process in the school setting using the sex education program Long Live Love (LLL) as an example. …

  13. Cost analysis of school-based sexuality education programs in six countries

    Policy-makers who are making decisions on sexuality education programs face important economic questions: what are the costs of developing sexuality education programs; and what are the costs of implementing and scaling them up? This study responds to these questions by assessing the costs of six school-based sexuality education programs (Nigeria, Kenya, Indonesia, India, Estonia and the Netherlands). Cost analyses were carried out in schools that were fully implementing a SE program, as this best reflects the resources needed to run an effective program. …

  14. Reality Counts. Focusing on Sexuality and Rights in the Fight against HIV/AIDS

    Reality Counts. Focusing on Sexuality and Rights in the Fight against HIV/AIDS is the third in a series of publications presented by the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU) in 2004, in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo in 1994. This book consists of a collection of articles about HIV/AIDS around the world. …

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