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2-8-16 Course notes on research foundations, issues, and use

10-12-15 One-year results from the Sexualty Education Initiative

7-10-15 Short-term effects from a Rights-Based Sexuality Education Curriculum

3/17/15 How and When Should Sex Ed Be Taught: KCPP inteview

10/4/14 - CA Sexuality Education Standards Analysis Tool

5/12/14 - No Time for Complacency: 2014 Teen Births and STD Update

6/14/13 - Issues in Intervention Effectiveness Research


Converging evidence: Sex ed in the U.S. (JAH editorial)

CRAHD report leads to CBS-5 sex ed investigation

CRAHD testimony to Assembly Health Committee special hearing on STDs

PSRH article on California parent preferences on sex education

CJHP article on STIs among California youth

JAH article on Parent views on HPV vaccination

Review of Kristin Luker's When Sex Goes to School

Appraising evidence on program effectiveness

Do virginity pledges cause virginity?

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Scarlet Letter ads

Position papers on sex education

California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV Prevention Education Act (SB71)


Reframing America's Youth

Choose Responsibility: promoting moderate and responsible alcohol use among young adults

Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Drug Education

Smoke-Free Movies

Research Methods Knowledge Base

The Fallacy Files

Most institutions demand unqualified faith; but the institution of science makes skepticism a virtue. -- Robert Merton, 1962

The Center for Research on Adolescent Health and Development and its Adolescent Sexual Health Policy Project pursue an integrated program of research, training, and advocacy in adolescent sexual health and rights, with two primary goals.

  • First, we work to promote better sexuality education and communication for both youth and parents, with special attention to the sexual health needs and rights of foster youth and other underserved populations.
  • Second--and providing a critical foundation for the first--we work to enhance the field's understanding and use of social science theory, research evidence, and rigorous scientific inquiry.

Newly emerging comprehensive sexuality education models go beyond the usual abstinence-only and abstinence-plus approaches to focus more broadly on healthy sexual development. These models not only provide education and access to contraception and protection, but also emphasize positive sexuality and youth development, relationship rights and responsibilities, gender equity, and critical thinking. Our five-year randomized trial of the Planned Parenthood-Los Angeles Sexuality Education Initiative provides a unique opportunity to rigorously test one such approach in a challenging urban environment.

We also work to raise awareness and understanding of research validity and integrity issues in the conduct and translation of adolescent health research, and of common misunderstandings about principles of scientific inquiry and evidence-based argumentation. This is approached through the development of systematic critiques together with training and educational materials for researchers and research consumers.

The Center's scientists and associates work closely with our policy research interns and predoctoral research fellows, and our various partners in California and elsewhere. We are grateful for core program funding support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and additional project-specific support from The California Wellness Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and Planned Parenthood-Los Angeles.

Examples of our current work …

  • Predoctoral Research Fellowships in Adolescent Sexuality, Health, and Rights

    This project provides research, graduate training and strategic communications to promote (1) a more scientific view of evidence and its use among researchers, policy shapers and curriculum developers; (2) a reconceptualization of sexuality education within a holistic sexual health and rights framework; and (3) further analysis, development and dissemination of existing and new models of sexuality education. Funding is provided by the Ford Foundation. (Ford Foundation program grantees)

  • Adolescent Sexual Health Policy Project

    This grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation provides core support for the Center for Research on Adolescent Health and Development and its Adolescent Sexual Health Policy Project, to enhance the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents in California and the United States through policy-oriented research.

  • No Time for Complacency Policy Advocacy Initiative

    NTFC is an research and policy advocacy initiative to educate California policy makers and opinion leaders about teen pregnancy prevention and other adolescent sexual health outcomes and policies and to provide strategic research-based advocacy materials to local and state level advocates for adolescent sexual health policy. Funding is provided by The California Wellness Foundation.

  • Planned Parenthood - Los Angeles Sexuality Education Initiative Randomized Evaluation

    In collaboration with the USC Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, we are conducting a formative and randomized evaluation of the Planned Parenthood - Los Angeles Sexuality Education Initiative. This rights-based and gender sensitive initiative includes a 12-session classroom curriculum, together with parent education, peer advocacy, and clinic access components.

Click here to view all abstracts of other recent projects.