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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. Towards comprehensive sexuality education: a comparative analysis of the policy environment surrounding school-based sexuality education in Ghana, Peru, Kenya and Guatemala

    The successful implementation of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) programmes in schools depends on the development and implementation of strong policy in support of CSE. This paper offers a comparative analysis of the policy environment governing school-based CSE in four low- and middle-income countries at different stages of programme implementation: Ghana, Peru, Kenya and Guatemala. …

  4. 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. …

  5. Sexual and reproductive health outcomes are positively associated with comprehensive sexual education exposure in Mexican high-school students

    This paper provides evidence of the potential beneficial effects of CSE on attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors regarding sexual and reproductive health among adolescents. In addition, it identifies areas that should be strengthened to increase the positive impact of CSE.

  6. Examination of substance use, risk factors, and protective factors on student academic test score performance

    School administrators and teachers face difficult decisions about how best to use school resources in order to meet academic achievement goals. Many are hesitant to adopt prevention curricula that are not focused directly on academic achievement. Yet, some have hypothesized that prevention curricula can remove barriers to learning and, thus, promote achievement. This study examined relationships between school levels of student substance use and risk and protective factors that predict adolescent problem behaviors and achievement test performance in Washington State.

  7. Systematic review of the role of external contributors in school substance use education

    Purpose: A literature review was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of external contributors (anyone other than a teacher at the school) in delivering school‐based drug, alcohol and tobacco education (substance use education) programmes. Design/methodology/approach: The review focused upon literature published from 1990 onwards in English. Published reports were identified via electronic searches, supplemented by hand searching of relevant journals. Relevant organisations and individuals were contacted to identify low circulation, difficult to acquire (grey) literature. …

  8. Evidence-based practice in school substance use prevention: fidelity of implementation under real-world conditions

    Fidelity of program implementation under real-world conditions is a critical issue in the dissemination of evidence-based school substance use prevention curricula. Program effects are diminished when programs are implemented with poor fidelity. The authors assessed five domains of fidelity—adherence, exposure (dosage), quality of delivery, participant responsiveness and program differentiation (lack of contamination from other programs)—in a subset of respondents (N = 342) from a national random sample of public schools with middle school grades (N = 1721). …

  9. 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.

  10. Implementing evidence-based substance use prevention curricula with fidelity: the role of teacher training

    It is widely recognized that teacher training affects the fidelity with which evidence-based substance use prevention curricula are implemented. This article presents the results of a 2005 survey of teachers from a nationally representative sample of 1721 public middle schools in the US (78.1% response rate).It measured fidelity along two dimensions (adherence and dose) and also assessed the number of hours, recency, and perceived effectiveness of teachers’ training, as well as the degree to which adherence was emphasized during training. …

  11. 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. …

  12. 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. …

  13. The impact of teachers’ modifications of an evidenced-based HIV prevention intervention on program outcomes

    The degree to which evidence-based program outcomes are affected by modifications is a significant concern in the implementation of interventions. The ongoing national implementation of an evidence-based HIV prevention program targeting grade six students in The Bahamas [Focus on Youth in The Caribbean (FOYC)] offers an opportunity to explore factors associated with teachers’ modification of FOYC lessons and to examine the impact of types and degrees of modifications on student outcomes. Data were collected in 2012 from 155 teachers and 3646 students in 77 government elementary schools. …

  14. Attention to menstrual hygiene management in schools: An analysis of education policy documents in low- and middle-income countries

    Recent decades have seen a push for gender parity in education in low resource countries. Attention is shifting to how school environments hinder the achievement of gender equality. One effort, primarily led by the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, includes a focus on the needs of menstruating girls.

  15. Educating women about HIV/AIDS: some international comparisons

    This paper describes current trends in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It looks at issues and strategies involved in educating women about HIV/AIDS in the context of the global pandemic, focusing particularly on Canada and Vietnam. These strategies are essential steps in preventing the spread of HIV and in caring for those who have already developed AIDS. …

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