Answer: Sex Ed, Honestly

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Answer provides honest, accurate answers about sex in response to the many questions teens and adult professionals have about this complex topic. Answer has provided high-quality training to teachers and other youth-serving professionals. Answer also uses peer-to-peer communication to offer sexuality education directly to teens through the teen-written Sex, Etc. magazine and website.

To find out more about Answer, click here. 

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The Date Safe Project

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The Date Safe Project educates students and members of the military on intimacy, consent, dating, sex, and respect. Students will learn what consent is and how to respect boundaries, make healthy sexual decisions, and ensure that sexual behaviors are consensual. They also learn about how to support and honor survivors of sexual assault and rape.

The Date Safe project offers certification for parents, speakers, and educators to learn how to present effective programming in their communities and to make full use of their online resources and education materials.

For further information about the Date Safe Project, visit their webpage.

Make It Better Project

The Make it Better Project was launched in 2010 by the Gay-Straight Alliance Network in order to provide youth and adults concrete tools to make schools safer for LGBT students.

“The Make it Better Project aims to educate, motivate, and unite students and adults to effectively take action to stop bullying and harassment in schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity”

The website provides ideas and information for youth to increase LGBT awareness and community at the school level and at state and national levels.  There are also resources for parents, teachers and school administrators, and adult supporters who want to take a stand against bullying and advocate for LGBT youth and their rights.

There are also resources for individuals who want support or need to speak to someone in a confidential manner about LGBT issues.

You can connect with the Make it Better Project via their blogFacebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Flickr.

Web Sexual Health Resources You Can Use (2008)

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This handy PDF, “Web Sexual Health Resources You Can Use,” was compiled by Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH) and contains websites and resources in order to allow you to learn more about science-based programs, lesson plans and teaching strategies, training and curriculum development, research and youth health statistics, and services.

See below for a brief list of the resources.  Links have also been updated (Jan 2014).

Science-Based Programs

Free Lesson Plans and Teaching Strategies

Training and Curriculum Development

Research and Youth Health Statistics

Services

Link to PDF of “Web Sexual Health Resources You Can Use”

Resources for Families on Parent-Child Communication (2005)

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“Resources for Families on Parent-Child Communication,” published by Advocates for Youth, provides a list of resources and materials to help parents begin talking with their children about sex. Resources are organized within the categories of web sites for parents, web sites for young people, books and videos, and organizations.

All print materials can be ordered from local bookstores or via Advocate for Youth’s website.

 

Link to PDF of “Resources for Families on Parent-Child Communication.”

Link to webpage listing the resources that is more computer-friendly

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood, founded in 1916, is an organization that is committed to providing trusted health care, educating and informing the community, leading the reproductive health and rights movement, and advancing global health.

“Planned Parenthood believes in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual’s income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence.”

The website provides up-to-date, clear, and medically accurate information about a variety of topics such as:

Planned Parenthood health centers also provide a variety of services such as:

  • Abortion
  • Birth Control
  • Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)
  • General Health Care
  • HIV Testing
  • LGBT Health Care
  • Men’s Health Care
  • Pregnancy Testing & Services
  • STD Testing, Treatment & Vaccines
  • Women’s Health Care

Click here to find your closest Planned Parenthood Health Clinic.

Connect with Planned Parenthood via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Youtube.

American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)

The American Sexual Health Association, founded in 1914, aims to communicate to the public, patients, press, providers and policy makers by developing and delivering sensitive health information about sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases/infections.

Their mission statement:

“The American Sexual Health Association promotes the sexual health of individuals, families and communities by advocating sound policies and practices and educating the public, professionals and policy makers, in order to foster healthy sexual behaviors and relationships and prevent adverse health outcomes.”

The website provides information about:

You can also get updates from the ASHA Blog and through their Youtube channel.

Advocates for Youth

Advocates for Youth, established in 1980, aims to help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive rights.  They focus on working with young people ages 14-25 in the U.S. and abroad and treat young people as a valuable resource.

Advocate for Youth’s Rights. Respect. Respnsibility (3Rs) Core Values:

RIGHTS: Youth have the right to accurate and complete sexual health information, confidential reproductive and sexual health services, and a secure stake in the future.

RESPECT: Youth deserve respect. Valuing young people means involving them in the design, implementation and evaluation of programs and policies that affect their health and well-being.

RESPONSIBILITY: Society has the responsibility to provide young people with the tools they need to safeguard their sexual health, and young people have the responsibility to protect themselves from too-early childbearing and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

Their website contains information such as:

They also publish a variety of publications ranging from topics such as “Peer Education” to “State Facts” and “Abstinence Only Programs.”

You can connect with Advocates for Youth via Facebook, Twitter, & Tumblr

Sexuality Education for Youth with Disability or Chronic Illness: A Resource List

This comprehensive resource list, compiled by the University of Michigan Health System, provides information relating to sexual issues affecting youth with disabilities or chronic conditions.

Providing clear and accurate information to youths with disabilities is important–

“Young people with disabilities are no different from other kids in their need to understand their bodies and relationships; they, too, need to understand how their bodies work, and may have romantic longings and sexual interests. The following resources cover the many aspects of disability, love, sex and puberty in a responsible, open and affirming manner.”

The resource list is includes many web resources, print resources and information about organizations.  You can also ask questions about this topic.

Click here for a link to “Sexuality Education for Youth with Disability or Chronic Illness: A Resource List”

Sexuality Education for Students with Disabilities

The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities provides a list of sexual education resources for children and youths with disabilities.

This includes information on:

Link to “Sexuality Education for Students with Disabilities”

Sex Education for Physically, Emotionally and Mentally Challenged Youth (2006)

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This resource, complied by Advocates for Youth, provides detailed information and resources for youth who live with physical and/or mental disabilities— including, but not limited to hearing, sight, and motor function impairments; Down syndrome; cerebral palsy; paraplegia and quadriplegia; developmental disorders; and mental health issues.

The resource is divided into the following sections:

  • Statistics and data about disabilities among children and youth
  • Myths and facts about sexuality and disability
  • Why should parents be concerned about sexual education for their disabled children?
  • General guidelines for parents
  • General guidelines for professional sex educators
  • Selected Resources for educators and other youth serving professionals–Books, Curricula
  • Selected Resources for parents–Books
  • Organizations/Web sites

Link to “Sex Education for Physically, Emotionally and Mentally Challenged Youth” on Advocates for Youth’s webpage

Link to PDF version

Programs that Work (2008)

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Advocates for Youth is an organization that is

Dedicated to creating programs and advocating for policies that help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health.

The Science and Success (2nd ed. 2008): Sex Education and Other Programs That Work to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, HIV & Sexually Transmitted Infections publication highlights 26 U.S Based programs that have been proven effictive at delaying sexual initiation or reducing sexual risk taking among teens.

  • 14 out of 26 of the programs demonstrated a statistically significant delay in the timing of first sex among youth.
  • 14 out of 26 of the programs increased use of condoms
  • 9 out of 26 demonstrated an increase of other forms of contraception
  • 13 out of 26 showed a reduction in the number of sex partners and/or an increase in monogamy among participants
  • 7 out of 26 assisted sexually active youth to reduce the frequency of sexual intercourse
  • 10 out of 26 helped reduce the incidence of unprotected sex.
  • 13 out of 26 programs showed a decline in tenn pregnancy, HIV or other STIs.
  • 9 out of 26  showed a significant impact on teen pregnancy
  • 4 out of 26 showed a reduced trend in STIs
  • 6 programs achieved improvements in youth’s receipt of health care.

23 of the programs listed in the publication include information about absitence and contraception. The remaining three are programs for early childhood interventions and one is service learning program.

To visit Advocates For Youth’s website click HERE.

For the full publication: Programs that work 2008 full rpt

For the Summary of Programs: Programs that work 2008 Exec Sum

Medical and Public Health Sexual Health Education Recommendations (2007)

This fact sheet issued by ICAH reviews the recommendations for Sexual Health Education in schools by Medical and Public Health organizations such as:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Medical Association
  • World Health Organization
  • American Public Health Association
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • Society for Adolescent Medicine

These organizations recommend that Sexual Health Education programs should include the following topics:

  • Abstinence
  • Basics of reproduction
  • Human development (puberty)
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • HIV/AIDs
  • Contraceptives and other barrier methods
  • Communication and behavioral skills (negotiation, refusal, etc)
  • Relationships (familial, sexual, platonic)
  • Information about access and/or condom availability
  • Sexual orientation and gender
  • Decision -making, values, and responsibility

In addition to these topics, some organizations have further recommendations or guidance on Sexual Health Education.

To view the fact sheet click HERE

For further information regarding National Education Standards for Sexual Health Education please visit Futureofsexeducation.org for PDF handouts of the standards for grades K-12.

Effective Sex Education (2006)

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This article, written by Brigid McKeon (Advocates for Youth) provides an overview of the effectiveness and characteristics of comprehensive sex education and the dangers of abstinence-only programs .

By age 18, 70% of U.S. females and 62% of U.S. males have initiated vaginal sex.  Adolescents have a fundamental human right to comprehensive and accurate sexual health information in order to make healthy decisions about sex and healthy sexual behaviors.

The article provides statistics and data supporting several points–

  • Comprehensive sex education is effective and does not promote sexual risks
  • Abstinence-Only programs are dangerous, ineffective and inaccurate
  • Medical organizations, parents and the public support comprehensive sex education

The fact sheet also includes characteristics of effective sex education as well as medical and public health recommendations to support comprehensive sex education.

Link to “Effective Sex Education”

Douglas Kirby’s 17 Characteristics at a Glance (2007)

“17 Characteristics at a Glance” is taken from Kirby et al.’s report, Sex and HIV Education Programs for Youth: Their Impact and Important Characteristics and their publication, Tools to Assess Characteristics of Effective Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs (TAC).  This is a brief one page description of the 17 common characteristics of programs found to be effective in changing behaviors that lead to STD, HIV and unintended pregnancy among young people.

To identify those characteristics, Kirby and his colleagues conducted a systematic review of 83 studies of HIV prevention and sex education programs that were from both the developed and developing world.  About 66% of these programs showed positive behavior changes.  The researchers then conducted a more in-depth analysis of characteristics of these curriculum-based programs that showed positive changes.

Citation:

Kirby, D., Rolleri, L. A., Wilson, M. M. Tools to Assess Characteristics of Effective Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs (TAC). 2007.

Link to PDF of “17 Characteristics At A Glance”

Curricula Assessment Tool (2007)

The Curricula Assessment Tool was designed by the ICAH to serve as a guide for Teachers, Administrators, Students, Parents and Members of the community working to ensure that the sex education curriculum being taught meets high standards for content and focus.

Acting as a checklist, the form provides the items required by the state of Illinois to be included in the sex education curriculum as well as items that meet the health learning standards for the State Board of Education.

You can view and download the form below.

Curriculum Assessment Tool 2007

Replicating Successful Programs (2006)

Plain Talk is a program developed by the Annie E Casey Foundation and was launched into five urban communities in 1993. The program is a neighborhood based initiative aimed at helping adults, parents, and community leaders develop the skills they need to communicate effectively with young people about reducing adolescent sexual risk taking. Plain Talk has been replicated in multiple communities across the United States.

The Goals of Plain talk are to:

  • Create consensus among parents and adults about the need to protect sexually active youth by encouraging early and consistent use of contraceptives.
  • To give parents and other community adults the information and skills they need to communicate more effectively with teens about responsible behavior.
  • To improve adolescent access to high-quality, age-appropriate and readily available reproductive health care, including contraception.

To find more information regarding the Plain Talk program visit The Annie E Casey Foundation and conduct a search for Plain Talk.

To view a summary of the Plain Talk Program, click the link below. Plaintalk.org is no longer a working web address for this organization.

Replicating Successful Programs- Plain Talk 2006

K-12 Curricula Lessons about LGBTQ Diversity (2010)

The San Francisco Unified School District provides support services for LGBTQ youth and guidance for schools to provide curriculum for grades K-12 on diversity. The required curriculum for SF School systems includes:

Elementary: Two lessons of family diversity per year
Middle School: Seven periods of Diversity Education and Violence Prevention
High School: Ten periods of Diversity Education and Violence Prevention

The SFUSD website provides pdf files of lessons and worksheets for all grade levels as well as video lessons for middle school and high school aged students.

To view these files click HERE.

To find the other services that SFUSD provides for the LGBTQ community in the school system in San Franscisco you can visit their main website HERE.

The Impact of Abstinence and Comprehensive Sex and STD-HIV Education Programs on Adolescent Sexual Behavior (2008)

There has been an ongoing debate about the effectiveness of abstinence-only versus comprehensive sex education and the impacts these two programs have on adolescent sexual health and behaviors.  Over the past 15 years, many researchers have studied the impact of abstinence programs on adolescents’ sexual knowledge, behaviors, and intentions but Dr. Kirby considers these research studies poorly designed and not objective.  By reviewing and evaluating both abstinence-only and comprehensive sex education programs, Dr. Kirby hopes to come clearer conclusions as to which program is most effective.

Dr. Kirby rigorously reviewed and evaluated 56 studies that assessed the impact of such curricula (8 that evaluated 9 abstinence programs and 48 that evaluated comprehensive programs) and studied whether these caused positive or negative changes to adolescents’ behaviors.

Dr. Kirby’s study results indicated that most abstinence programs did not delay initiation of sex and only 3 of 9 programs had any significant positive effects on any sexual behavior. On the other hand, about two thirds of comprehensive programs showed strong evidence that they positively affected young people’s sexual behavior, including both delaying initiation of sex and increasing condom and contraceptive use among important groups of youth.

Dr. Kirby concludes that:

  1. Some evidence (but no strong evidence) currently supports the assumption that abstinence program is effective at delaying first sex for adolescents
  2. Abstinence programs are not more effective at delaying initiative of sex compared to comprehensive sex education programs
  3. Abstinence programs are not sufficiently effective in eliminating teen’s sexual risks or eliminating comprehensive sexual education programs
  4. There is stronger evidence that comprehensive sex education can delay initiation of sex and increase contraception use

Citation:  Kirby, D. B. (2008). The Impact Of Abstinence And Comprehensive Sex And STD/HIV Education Programs On Adolescent Sexual Behavior. Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC5(3), 18-27.

Link to “The Impact of Abstinence and Comprehensive Sex and STD-HIV Education Programs on Adolescent Sexual Behavior”