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BMC Public Health. 2015 Mar 26;15:293. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-1625-5.

Short-term effects of a rights-based sexuality education curriculum for high-school students: a cluster-randomized trial.

Author information

1
Center for Research on Adolescent Health and Development, Public Health Institute, 555 12th Street, 10th Floor, 94607, Oakland, CA, USA. nconstantine@berkeley.edu.
2
Division of Community Health and Human Development, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, 50 University Hall, 94720, Berkeley, CA, USA. nconstantine@berkeley.edu.
3
Center for Research on Adolescent Health and Development, Public Health Institute, 555 12th Street, 10th Floor, 94607, Oakland, CA, USA. pjerman.phi@gmail.com.
4
Center for Research on Adolescent Health and Development, Public Health Institute, 555 12th Street, 10th Floor, 94607, Oakland, CA, USA. nberglas.phi@gmail.com.
5
Center for Research on Adolescent Health and Development, Public Health Institute, 555 12th Street, 10th Floor, 94607, Oakland, CA, USA. francisca.olaiz@gmail.com.
6
Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 2001 N. Soto Street, 90032, Los Angeles, CA, USA. cchou@usc.edu.
7
Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 2001 N. Soto Street, 90032, Los Angeles, CA, USA. rohrbac@usc.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

An emerging model for sexuality education is the rights-based approach, which unifies discussions of sexuality, gender norms, and sexual rights to promote the healthy sexual development of adolescents. A rigorous evaluation of a rights-based intervention for a broad population of adolescents in the U.S. has not previously been published. This paper evaluates the immediate effects of the Sexuality Education Initiative (SEI) on hypothesized psychosocial determinants of sexual behavior.

METHODS:

A cluster-randomized trial was conducted with ninth-grade students at 10 high schools in Los Angeles. Classrooms at each school were randomized to receive either a rights-based curriculum or basic sex education (control) curriculum. Surveys were completed by 1,750 students (Nā€‰=ā€‰934 intervention, Nā€‰=ā€‰816 control) at pretest and immediate posttest. Multilevel regression models examined the short-term effects of the intervention on nine psychosocial outcomes, which were hypothesized to be mediators of students' sexual behaviors.

RESULTS:

Compared with students who received the control curriculum, students receiving the rights-based curriculum demonstrated significantly greater knowledge about sexual health and sexual health services, more positive attitudes about sexual relationship rights, greater communication about sex and relationships with parents, and greater self-efficacy to manage risky situations at immediate posttest. There were no significant differences between the two groups for two outcomes, communication with sexual partners and intentions to use condoms.

CONCLUSIONS:

Participation in the rights-based classroom curriculum resulted in positive, statistically significant effects on seven of nine psychosocial outcomes, relative to a basic sex education curriculum. Longer-term effects on students' sexual behaviors will be tested in subsequent analyses.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02009046.

PMID:
25886554
PMCID:
PMC4407845
DOI:
10.1186/s12889-015-1625-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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