Collecting information from community members is an important step in developing programs and curricula. A recent article from the PRC/MI, “‘I make sure I am safe and I make sure I have myself in every way possible’: African-American youth perspectives on sexuality education,” published in Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, describes the major themes that emerged during the focus groups which informed the creation of our current core research project, HOPE.
The research was conducted under the Genesee County Healthy Sexuality Project, a partnership between the University of Michigan School of Public Health, the Genesee County Health Department, and YOUR Center and was funded by the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR).
The authors describe their methodology for conducting focus groups as well as the central themes related to African-American youth’s experiences with sexuality education. Three main themes became apparent during analysis of the focus group data: 1) experiences with school-based sexuality education (SBSE), 2) information seeking outside of schools, and 3) general principles of youth-based sexuality education.
The article highlights these themes and provides an analysis of youth perspectives which may help guide future directions of youth sexuality education. The participants’ SBSE experiences reflected incomplete sexuality education due to topic restrictions and lack of comfort with content by school educators. To obtain a more comprehensive education, youth seek information from other sources such as parents and healthcare providers. Youth identified trust and confidentiality as desirable features of sexuality education. Credibility of the educator and the information given was also valued and linked with better trust and confidentiality. Feedback from these focus groups contributed to a greater understanding of youth experiences with sexuality education, aiding the creating of future youth-centered sexuality programs.
Kimmel, A., Williams, T. T., Veinot, T. C., Campbell, B., Campbell, T. R., Valacak, M., & Kruger, D. J. (2012). ‘I make sure I am safe and I make sure I have myself in every way possible’: African-American youth perspectives on sexuality education. Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning [Epub ahead of print (July 24, 2012)]. View Abstract