The Stakes Remain High

Date: May 3rd, 2012
By:

Pat Paluzzi

Regardless, Healthy Teen Network remains concerned about any program that promotes abstinence only until marriage. This framework for teaching young people about their sexual health excludes a variety of populations including LGBTQ youth and people who choose not to marry. We believe that youth deserve unbiased information about their sexual health that allows them to think critically about their relationships and community. Healthy Teen Network welcomes the opportunity to examine this curriculum further; however, at this time Heritage Services indicated that they could not share a copy of their curriculum.The social networks have been a flutter with facts, opinions, and rumors since the release of three additional curricula to the Health and Human Services list of effective programs – Safer Choices, Respeto/Proteger, and Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education. Initially, Healthy Teen Network found research that appeared to call into question the efficacy of Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education. The “Life Skills” component that was referenced in our previous post refers to add-on sessions to the curriculum that were not found to impact the program’s outcomes. We have since located the unpublished manuscript that was used to assess this program, and we will review it to learn more about its findings.

We will continue to inquire about the findings associated with this program, and provide updates as we learn more.  We invite you to share any knowledge and/or experience you have had with any of these three newly approved programs.

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About the Author

Patricia Paluzzi, CNM, DrPH, President and CEO of Healthy Teen Network, has been active in the fields of reproductive, and maternal and child health for over 40 years, as a clinician, researcher, administrator, and advocate. Her clinical and content expertise spans the full scope of midwifery care, substance abuse, intimate partner violence, high-risk maternal child health (including pregnant teens), incorporating men into clinical services, and trauma-informed approaches.

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