142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Planned Parenthood Los Angeles' Sexuality Education Initiative: A Gender & Rights-Based Multi-Component High School Program

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 8:42 AM - 8:54 AM

Nicole Ressa, BA , Community Education & Outreach, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Magaly Marques, MA , Community Education & Outreach, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Michelle Horejs, MPH , Community Education & Outreach, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies among adolescents continue to be a major public health concern. Lessons learned in sex education suggest that to reverse these high rates, programs must address the broader context in which adolescents’ sexual behavior occurs, including their interpersonal relationships and social norms. There is a large body of evidence that links adherence to hyper-masculine and hyper-feminine gender roles to negative sexual health behaviors. Yet evidence-based programs often do not address gender explicitly.

Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA) developed the Sexuality Education Initiative (SEI): a rights-based and gender-focused approach that integrates a 12-session classroom curriculum, after-school Peer Advocate club, parent education, and on-campus clinical services and condom distribution by trained teachers. This presentation will describe the theory and strategies used, as well as the successes and challenges with implementation of an innovative approach to providing sexuality education in urban public high schools in areas of health inequities. We will describe how students learn about sexual health and respectful sexual relationships through a pedagogical model that engages students in questioning strict gender norms and teaches them about the rights of youth in society and in relationships. By including parent education and obtaining buy-in from school personnel, the program strengthens the capacity of schools and parents to support healthy sexual behavior.  Preliminary evaluation results provide support for the adoption of a rights and gender framework in sexuality education. Final results are expected in December 2014.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Identify gaps in evidence-based comprehensive sexual health education. Describe the theory behind the development of a rights-based approach using an ecological model to provide sexuality education in schools. Discuss successes and challenges to implementing this model. Describe the strategies and four components of the Sexuality Education Initiative.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Nicole Ressa is the Director of School-Based & Youth Education at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. She has been in the field for over a decade and has extensive experience in developing and implementing sexuality education programs. She has served as the lead on the Sexuality Education Initiative demonstration project since its inception.
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.