212944 Looking backward, moving forward: The future of sex education

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 1:30 PM

John Santelli , Dept of Population and Family Health, Mailman Sch of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
The end of federal support for abstinence education creates new opportunities and new challenges for comprehensive sexuality education and evidence-based public health policy. This paper will examine lessons learned from the fight against abstinence-only policies, including the role of research, national advocacy groups, the state pubic health establishment and advocacy in support of scientific accuracy. How can we marshall these insights in support of comprehensive sexuality policies that are evidence based? Should the public health community focus on comprehensive sexuality education as a goal or focus on public health outcomes such as prevention of teen pregnancy, STIs, and HIV infection? What is the role of human right principles in relationship to evidence-based practice? In addressing these questions, looking backward may help us to move forward.

Learning Objectives:
Describe recent changes in federal support for abstinence-only and comprehensive sexuality education Identify lessons learned that can be used to support comprehensive sexuality education Identify the on-going challenges at the local, state, federal, and international levels as the United States attempts to refocus sexuality educatin towards evidence-based policies

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Sexuality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: John Santelli is a well-known expert in the area of sexuality education
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.