Sex on the beach, part 2: County-level case studies of school-based sexuality education changes in Florida
Monday, November 4, 2013
: 11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
Compared with youth across the U.S., Florida youth experience poorer sexual/reproductive health outcomes. Although school-based sexuality education (sex-ed) is one strategy to address these outcomes, such education is locally determined and inconsistent across the state. Recently, some Florida districts have changed from an abstinence-only approach to a more progressive form of sex-ed. The purpose of this study was to better understand the process of sex-ed curricular/policy change at local levels. We conducted a series of case studies involving multiple phases/data collection methods. First, sex-ed policies from all 67 Florida counties were reviewed to determine if a change occurred in the previous seven years. For each county identified, we conducted a media analysis of local newspaper articles and interviews with key informants. This presentation will summarize sex-ed change in each county (case study), as derived from key informant interviews. Four counties were identified as having recently changed their curriculum/policy: Brevard, Collier, St. Lucie, and Volusia. Interviews revealed that Brevard's change was driven by parental involvement and a national advocacy organization local chapter. Change in Collier was driven by a behind-the-scenes community activist, who capitalized on a post-election change in school board makeup. In St. Lucie, change was achieved through a community participatory process prompted by a local HIV/AIDS epidemic. In Volusia, the change process was supported by school officials but spearheaded and driven by a fervent, well-educated parent. We anticipated identifying common threads across these counties but each county had a unique set of circumstances and individuals/groups facilitating change.
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the processes of school-based sexuality education curricula and policy change at local levels.
Discuss how individuals and groups work together to influence school-based sexuality education curricula and policies.
Keyword(s): School Health, Youth
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a graduate research assistant on this Ford Foundation-funded project and have been centrally involved in the planning and execution of study activities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.