Sex Ed Week in Review: Dollars and Sense

In the United States

Bridgeton, NJ: Inspira Health Network‘s Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program, “At Promise, Not At Risk,” just received $5 million from the United States federal government to continue its programming. The program, now in its third year, combines life skills with abstinence-based sexuality education for 120 6th graders across two school systems. The program engages the students every day through the school year, and during 5 weeks of summer, until they graduate high school. That’s a lot of time to keep young adults engaged! Maybe they could incorporate some of these fun activities in Game On! The Ultimate Sexuality Education Gaming Guide.

Ann Arbor, Michigan: The Peer Education program at Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan received $2,000 from the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor to continue its efforts to educate young adults so that they can educate their friends about sexual health. The Ann Arbor Public School System instituted a Sexual Health Education Advisory Committee which approves any sexual education curriculum before it heads on over to the Ann Arbor Schools Board of Education. This may be good news for students in Ann Arbor. The committee seems to be light years ahead of some school systems in our country. It’s nice to see medically accurate information is a shared value among the civic, private, and public sectors. Perhaps community leaders in these sectors should head on over to CFLE’s National Sex Ed Conference for some more education and moral support!

Solano County, California: Teen pregnancy rates in California are declining, even in Solano County where the rates are still the highest in the region. Success was seen across all ethnic groups, and key components of successful efforts included state laws that support comprehensive sexuality education, community programming for life skills education for youth, and wrap-around support for teen parents and their families. It would be nice to see this blueprint spread to other parts of the country (see Missouri, below)! 

Dr. L. Stewart Massad
Washington University
School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri: Missouri legislators allowed SB450, The Comprehensive Sex Education Act to die in committee, despite the correlation between teen pregnancy decline and comprehensive sexuality education. Dr. L. Stewart Massad is a proponent of the HPV vaccine for all youth, based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDCreport of HPV infection rates and the success of vaccination, and recommends parents speak “frankly” to their daughters about the vaccine. Since parents tend to be uncomfortable with this kind of discussion, and Missouri has ensured the information won’t be available in schools, perhaps CFLE’s Sex Ed Store can assist parents with the discussions they have with their children.

On the International Front

Dr. Catherine Dawson-Amoah
PPAG Executive Director
Koforidua, Ghana: Days after Population Day 2013, which this year focused on adolescent pregnancy, Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) held a conference to discuss their Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) manual. Carl Ampah of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) stated that inadequate sexual education makes youth more vulnerable. PPAG’s executive director, Dr. Catherine Dawson-Amoah, says their manual aims to educate youth about their “sexual and reproductive rights and also empower[s] [them to] make choices from well informed positions.”
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