September 11, 2017
While abstaining from sex is the only foolproof way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, abstinence-only education programs often fail to prevent young people from engaging in sexual activity, according to a report in the September issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Part of the problem of sex education programs, however, may be a disconnect between what students are being taught and what they’re really ready to learn, says Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, the C.R. Hutcheson Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies in the Texas Tech University College of Human Sciences.
Too often, she says, sex education for 11- and 12-year-olds focuses on sex and contraceptives without explaining the biological changes they’ll go through. This approach leaves many youths with the misconception that puberty means it’s time to have sex.
After researching and reviewing existing curricula about puberty, Trejos-Castillo worked with students in the Lubbock-Cooper Independent School District for four years to develop the Normalizing Sexual Development curriculum, an abstinence-plus education program that includes two different levels, one for sixth-graders and one for high school students. The older group learns about sex, abstinence, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases and what to consider before having sex. The sixth-grade curriculum presents human development as multi-faceted, teaching students about the cognitive, emotional and social changes they’ll experience during puberty and how to cope with them.
The College of Human Sciences at Texas Tech University provides multidisciplinary education, research and service focused on individuals, families and their environments for the purpose of improving and enhancing the human condition.
The college offers a Bachelor of Science degree with disciplines in:
The college also offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.Twitter