Resources for Taking a Sex-Positive Approach When Preventing Teen Pregnancy and Relationship Violence

A smiling teacher in front of a blackboard.

In a recent article we talked to experts on trauma-informed sex education, and they suggested youth workers and sexual health educators take a sex-positive approach in their conversations with youth. Taking a sex-positive approach means sending the message that sexuality is a normal and healthy part of human development (PDF, 778 KB). One way to impart the philosophy to youth and survivors of violence is by focusing on healthy sexuality (PDF, 902KB).

Several organizations have resources to help you integrate a sex-positive approach into the work you do. Here are some steps you can take:

Get a basic background on the sex-positive approach. The Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention is a good place to start to learn the ABC’s of sex positivity.

Learn tips for implementing a sex-positive approach. The International Planned Parenthood Federation's guide, part of a series of resources about youth-friendly services, provides practical ways to apply a sex-positive approach.

See how Colorado State University busts four myths about sex positivity. There are some misconceptions about taking a sex-positive approach, and Colorado State's Women and Gender Advocacy Center sets the record straight.

Incorporate a sex-positive approach into your violence prevention program. The Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs says violence prevention is more successful when it has a sex-positive orientation.

Choose a sex education curriculum that focuses on healthy sexuality. The Virginia Healthy Sexuality Workgroup has identified four promising curricula (PDF, 429KB) that could strengthen a sexual violence prevention program.

More on Healthy Sexuality

Get tips for creating a text message service to answer youths’ sexual health questions.

Read feedback youth provided on how to make sex ed curricula inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.

Learn how a Family and Youth Services Bureau grantee is focusing on adolescent sexual health to improve youth outcomes.

Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth, the Family and Youth Services Bureau, or the Administration for Children and Families.

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