national sexuality education standards can their current value be enhanced
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National Sexuality Education Standards: Can their current value be enhanced?

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National Sexuality Education Standards: Can their current value be enhanced?. Dan Dowhower. Introduction. December of 2008, forty experts a two-day meeting = National Sexuality Education Standards

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  • December of 2008, forty experts a two-day meeting = National Sexuality Education Standards
  • Essential minimum, core content for sexuality education that is developmentally and age-appropriate for students in grades Kindergarten through grade 12
  • Content and skills subject areas of Anatomy and Physiology, Puberty and Adolescent Development, Identity, Pregnancy and Reproduction, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV, Healthy Relationships, and Personal Safety .
  • A median total of 17.2 hours is devoted to instruction in HIV, pregnancy and STD prevention: 3.1 hours in elementary, 6 hours in middle and 8.1 hours in high school.  
areas of concern
Areas of Concern
  • Utilizing individual level theory that assumes adolescents have the motivation and opportunity to reproduce these behaviors outside of the school setting
  • Present standards generally subscribe to a rational model of decision-making and assume all individuals respond similarly to the same kind of messages
  • Standards place the complete onus of responsibility on the school system for teaching sexuality education and discount the value of family and community involvement
  • Standards are written as a one size-fits-all
scope of problem
Scope of Problem
  • 1 in 16 black men and 1 in 30 black women will be diagnosed with HIV infection over the course of their lifetime (CDC, 2010)
  • African Americans account for only 13.4% of the U.S. population.
  • Black teens (13-19) account for 69% of the 38% of infected African American.
  • Current research efforts demonstrate that social norms, social networks and gender roles need to be address to mitigate the impact of this epidemic
  • The current standards are a silo and only address the epidemic unidimensionally.
  • As one begins to unpack how HIV infection is distributed within the black community it is clear that interventions will have to be multi-level and tailored
so where do we go from here
So where do we go from here?
  • Triadic Theory of Influence – overlay a new theoretical framework to enhance current effort
    • Recognize the full context of health behavior
    • Individual Stream:
      • Go beyond the function of sexuality and understand the role of sex for adolescents
    • Social Stream:
      • Family – a major role in adolescent lives
      • Peer – support the role of sex
      • Role Models are highly valued
    • Cultural Stream
      • Religion – highly influential but variable
      • Oppression and Discrimination – has been argued to influence role of sex
      • Policy – a general influence due to it’s great variability across states
a triadic set of standards
A Triadic Set of Standards
  • Development of translation plan
    • Minimum standards for school curricula
    • Minimum standards for family, peer and community engagement
    • Minimum standards for policy and recognition of critical extraneous variables such as oppression and discrimination
examples of state policy variablity
Examples of State Policy Variablity
  • According to the Guttamacher Institute (2012), there is great variability across state policy and requirements around sex education.
    • only 12 states require that the sex education instruction be medically accurate,
    • 8 states require that the program provide instruction that is appropriate for a student’s cultural background and not be biased against any race, sex or ethnicity,
    • 35 states and DC allow parents to remove their children from instruction.