Sexuality education in developing countries: What’s happening in the books and what’s happening in the classroom?

Comprehensive and timely provision of information and skills-building on sexual and reproductive health and rights is essential if young people are to be adequately prepared to achieve sexual health and rights and prevent negative health outcomes.   In developing countries, young people continue to experience undesirable outcomes, including STIs and HIV infection, unintended pregnancies (that may lead to unplanned births and unsafe abortions), pressure to engage in intercourse and sexual violence.  These outcomes raise questions about the provision, coverage and quality of comprehensive sex education in schools in developing countries. The ultimate aim of this project is to improve provision of comprehensive sexuality education in schools, and increase support for and access to sex education as a right that should be exercised by all. 

Using four developing countries as case studies, this project will seek to:

  1. Document policies and curricula on sexuality education in schools
  2. Describe how these are actually implemented in schools, documenting current practice as well as gaps, through interviews with adolescents, teachers and other stakeholders
  3. Assess opinions, attitudes and knowledge of students and teachers regarding sexuality education
  4. Provide recommendations to help better support the implementation of comprehensive sex education in schools in the focus countries
  5. Use findings from the focus countries to provide generalized recommendations that may encourage the development and strengthening of policies and programs for provision of CSE in other countries in each region and in the developing world as a whole.

This project is a collaboration with the Guttmacher Institute