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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. 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. …

  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to safeguard young people and improve their sexual health, it currently lacks statutory status, government guidance is outdated and a third of UK schools has poor-quality SRE.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to improving young people's sexual health, but a third of schools in England lacks good SRE and government guidance is outdated.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. Sex education in the digital area

    This issue of the IDS Bulletin presents a collection of scholarly work on the topic for a mixed audience of researchers, policymakers and practitioners. A collaboration between Love Matters and IDS, articles discuss experiences with digital sex education in many countries and in a range of settings. The issues confronted are diverse, yet the common themes encountered are often as striking as the differences. …

  6. 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. …

  7. Affective engagement with research evidence about young people’s sex education in Kenya

    Sex and relationships have a big impact on young people’s lives. For most young people in the world getting information about sexual pleasure, apart from pornography, can be difficult. And it’s even harder if you live in parts of the world where you often aren’t able to decide who to date or marry, or how many children you want to have. For this reason online information on sexuality is hugely popular. Research suggests that young people are arriving at sex education sites mostly through campaigns on social media. …

  8. ‘… a huge monster that should be feared and not done’: Lessons learned in sexuality education classes in South Africa

    Research has foregrounded the way in which heterosexual practices for many young people are not infrequently bound up with violence and unequal transactional power relations. The Life Orientation sexuality education curriculum in South African schools has been viewed as a potentially valuable space to work with young people on issues of reproductive health, gender and sexual norms and relations. …

  9. 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. …

  10. Is the sexual behaviour of young people in sub-Saharan Africa influenced by their peers? A systematic review

    Adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa are highly vulnerable to HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies. Evidence for the effectiveness of individual behaviour change interventions in reducing incidence of HIV and other biological outcomes is limited, and the need to address the social conditions in which young people become sexually active is clear. Adolescents' peers are a key aspect of this social environment and could have important influences on sexual behaviour. There has not yet been a systematic review on the topic in sub-Saharan Africa. …

  11. 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. …

  12. Population Brief

    Articles from this issue : Making sexuality and HIV education programs more effective | Reducing adolescent girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence in sub-Saharan Africa | Developing a highly acceptable contraceptive vaginal ring | Creating a database of HIV prevention clinical trial terminology and translations.

  13. Sexuality education: Emerging trends in evidence and practice

    The International Conference on Population and Development and related resolutions have repeatedly called on governments to provide adolescents and young people with comprehensive sexuality education (CSE). Drawing from these documents, reviews and meta-analyses of program evaluations, and situation analyses, this article summarizes the elements, effectiveness, quality, and country-level coverage of CSE. Throughout, it highlights the matter of a gender and rights perspective in CSE. …

  14. School-based reproductive health and safety education for students aged 12-15 years in UNESCO's (2009) International Technical Guidance

    Globally, adolescents aged 12–15 years are making sexual and reproductive decisions of profound significance for their future, often based on misguided, inadequate or dangerously wrong information. Very few countries provide evidential and comprehensive education about puberty, sexuality, and reproductive health and safety to children and young adolescents at school, when it is most effective and beneficial. UNESCO has produced a culturally applicable framework for such education, with the primary aim of reducing sexual risk behaviour and sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. …

  15. Rwandan young people's perceptions on sexuality and relationships: Results from a qualitative study using the ‘mailbox technique’

    This study aimed to gain more insight into young Rwandans' perceptions on sex and relationships, which is essential for formulating effective sexual and reproductive health (SRH) promotion interventions. Using a 'mailbox technique', this paper studies the spontaneous thoughts of Rwandan young people on sexuality. Mailboxes were installed in five secondary schools in the Bugesera district and students were invited to write about their ideas, secrets, wishes, desires and fears on sexuality and relationships. Of the 186 letters collected, 154 addressed SRH topics. …

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