Special Issue "Sex Education as Health Promotion: What Does It Take?"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. María Lameiras Fernández
Website
Guest Editor
Análise e intervención psicosocioeducativa, Universidade de Vigo, Circunvalación ao Campus Universitario, 36310 Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain
Interests: sexual education; sexual health; gender studies; gender violence; HIV prevention; health promotion
Prof. Yolanda Rodríguez Castro
Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Análise e intervención psicosocioeducativa, Universidade de Vigo, Circunvalación ao Campus Universitario, 36310 Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain
Interests: sexual education; sexual health; HIV prevention; gender violence; dating violence; sexting, porn revenge
Prof. Maria Victoria Carrera-Fernández
Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Análise e intervención psicosocioeducativa, Universidade de Vigo, Circunvalación ao Campus Universitario, 36310 Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain
Interests: sexual education; lesbian; gay; bisexual and transgender studies; homophobic and transphobic bullying

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development show us how good health and wellbeing are intrinsically intertwined with progress and development (UN, 2015). Unfortunately, promotion of sexual health has been over-centered in the prevention of risks and diseases more than the positive aspects of wellbeing. This gap is being overcome by Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) programs allowing us to go beyond education about reproduction, risks and disease, which reaffirms the position of sexuality education within a framework of human rights and gender equality (Unesco, 2018). However, sex education appeared as a range of different practices that were held together by the label “comprehensive sex education”, and despite the extensive evidence on the effectiveness of CSE Programmers, there are several issues to face. First, CSE programs are described as an evidence-informed approach, but this approach of sex education as realistic and neutral, connected to science and facts, forgets the crucial role of the social and political context in which sex education programs are implemented (Schaalma et al., 2014). Second, CSE highlights the individualistic, neoliberal approach to sexuality, which reduces the attention to crucial issues such as power differences, sexual agency, and sexual pleasure (Krebbekx, 2018). In addition, we need to know more about the role of pornography inside real world sexual encounters (Sun et al., 2014), and how advances in communication technologies and social media provide emergent modalities to engage adolescents in comprehensive sexual education (Kalke, et al., 2018; Todaro et al., 2018). The key questions are: What is being done? What obstacles are holding back the promotion of sexual health? What are the challenges? Papers addressing these topics are invited for this Special Issue, especially those combining a high academic standard coupled with a practical focus on innovative and successful sex education experiences.

Dr. María Lameiras Fernández
Prof. Yolanda Rodríguez Castro
Prof. Maria Victoria Carrera-Fernández
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • comprehensive sexual education
  • female sexual pleasure
  • gender equality
  • gender stereotypes
  • gender violence
  • gender and power
  • sexuality
  • sexual agency
  • sexual education
  • sexual health
  • sexual pleasure
  • sexual risks

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Cervical Cancer Screening and Human Papillomavirus Vaccination among Korean Sexual Minority Women by Sex of Their Sexual Partners
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8924; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238924 - 30 Nov 2020
Abstract
Cervical cancer-preventive behaviors in Korean sexual minority women (SMW) are underexplored. We aimed to assess the differences in cervical cancer screening uptake and completion of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among Korean SMW by sex of their sexual partners. This cross-sectional study used data [...] Read more.
Cervical cancer-preventive behaviors in Korean sexual minority women (SMW) are underexplored. We aimed to assess the differences in cervical cancer screening uptake and completion of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among Korean SMW by sex of their sexual partners. This cross-sectional study used data from the 2017 Korean Sexual Minority Women’s Health Study; we included Korean lesbian and bisexual women aged ≥20 years. They were divided into three groups: SMW with more than one male sexual partner (male only/both), SMW with only female sexual partners (female-only), or no sexual partner (no partner). Among the 671 participants, 266 (39.6%), 294 (43.8%), and 111 (16.5%) belonged to the male-only/both, female-only, and no partner groups, respectively. Compared to the male-only/both group, the female-only group was significantly less likely to have undergone cervical cancer screening (Adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 0.24, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.15–0.37) and to have completed HPV vaccinations (AOR = 0.58, 95% CI = 0.37–0.91). In conclusion, Korean SMW with only female sexual partners had lower cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination completion rates than SMW who had male sexual partners. More extensive efforts are needed to improve cervical cancer-preventive behaviors among Korean SMW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sex Education as Health Promotion: What Does It Take?)
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Open AccessArticle
‘Sex Is Not Just about Ovaries.’ Youth Participatory Research on Sexuality Education in The Netherlands
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8587; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228587 - 19 Nov 2020
Abstract
Young people are not satisfied with the sexuality education they receive in Dutch high schools. They rate their sexuality education as mediocre (5.8 on a scale of one to ten). In cooperation with 17 young peer researchers, we explored what good sexuality education [...] Read more.
Young people are not satisfied with the sexuality education they receive in Dutch high schools. They rate their sexuality education as mediocre (5.8 on a scale of one to ten). In cooperation with 17 young peer researchers, we explored what good sexuality education looks like from the point of view of young people. The peer researchers collected data in their own high school, using mixed methods, starting with individual interviews, followed by focus group discussions and Photovoice sessions to get more in-depth views on topics, class atmosphere, and teacher skills. In total, 300 pupils aged 12–18 participated in the research. Our findings demonstrate that young people want more sexuality education, during their whole school career. They want sexuality education to move beyond biological functions, sexually transmitted diseases, and reproduction into issues like dating, online behavior, sexual pleasure, relationships, and sexual coercion. Moreover, pupils want sexual diversity integrated and normalized in all content. One of the main issues is that sexuality education should be given in a safe class atmosphere, which demands sensitivity from the teacher. In addition to the findings of the study, this article reflects on the steps to be taken to realize the changes desired by young people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sex Education as Health Promotion: What Does It Take?)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
How Sexuality Education Programs Have Been Evaluated in Low- and Lower-Middle-Income Countries? A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8183; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218183 - 05 Nov 2020
Abstract
Background: Complex sexual and reproductive health interventions, such as sexuality education (SE), contain multiple components and activities, which often requires a comprehensive evaluation design and adaptation to a specific context. In this review, we synthetize available scientific literature on types of evaluation designs [...] Read more.
Background: Complex sexual and reproductive health interventions, such as sexuality education (SE), contain multiple components and activities, which often requires a comprehensive evaluation design and adaptation to a specific context. In this review, we synthetize available scientific literature on types of evaluation designs used for SE programs in low- and lower-middle-income countries. Methods: Two databases yielded 455 publications, from which 20 articles met the inclusion criteria. Narrative synthesis was used to summarize the findings. Evaluation approaches were compared to recommended evaluation frameworks. The quality of articles was assessed by using MMAT 2018. Results: A total of 15 interventions employed in 10 countries were evaluated in the 20 selected articles, with the quality of publications being moderate to high. Randomized controlled trial was the predominant study design, followed by quasi-experimental design. There were seven process evaluation studies, using mixed methods. Main outcomes reported were of public health or behavioral nature—condom use, sexual debut or delay, and number of sexual partners. By comparing evaluation designs to recommended frameworks, few studies fulfilled at least half of the criteria. Conclusions: Evaluations of SE are largely dominated by quantitative (quasi-)experimental designs and use of public health outcomes. To improve understanding of SE program effectiveness, it is important to assess the quality of the program development, its implementation, and its impact, using existing evaluation frameworks and recommendations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sex Education as Health Promotion: What Does It Take?)
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