18 November 2019
In the past three decades, a number of sexuality education programs have been developed, implemented, and evaluated in communities throughout the United States. This study explores experiences of young people in Teen Talk, a clinic-based sexuality education program developed to provide engaging and medically accurate education about contraception and abstinence, as well as to promote access to reproductive health care. Through focus group discussions with 49 young people in northeastern U.S., this study explored Teen Talk participants’ perceptions of this program and its impacts. A thematic analysis of open-ended data showed that Teen Talk experiences and learning were shaped by the group process within each rendition of Teen Talk, as well as the context of the organization that developed and facilitated the program. Additionally, the results showed that Teen Talk was well liked and was perceived as a site of “actual learning” among youth who attended it at their own initiative or through peer networks. In contrast, experiences in the program and perceptions of its impact reflected a wide range of views—some positive, others negative—among youth who attended Teen Talk at the urging of child welfare staff. Public policy recommendations for educators who are working with young people who have experienced sexual abuse and trauma are discussed.
Garcia, M., Košutić, I. and Melendez-Rhodes, T. (2019). Talking About Teen Talk: Young People’s Experiences in a Sexuality Education Program. Sexuality Research and Social Policy. DOI: 10.1007/s13178-019-00405-0.
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