GEORGETOWN Guyana, March 26th, 2012 -- What happens when boys’ lessons in gender relations come from dancehall or soca lyrics? How should some countries respond to the reality that their adolescent girls have HIV rates four to six times higher than boys? What’s the best way to teach children about teen pregnancy?
There’s a lot to be explored when it comes to sex, sexuality and the region’s young people. And now Sex Education—the leading international journal on how all those factors intersect with education—is specifically welcoming contributions from the Caribbean.
Now in its eleventh year, the online journal has an extensive international readership. (Its content is available to developing world researchers and activists through the HINARI scheme.) Sex Education also boasts far-ranging content—everything from insight into Polish teens’ sexual initiation garnered from letters to the editor, to what tribal young men in Bangladesh know about preventing HIV.
In fact, the journal’s scope is more expansive than its title lets on. According to the publishers, “sex education takes place in a range of contexts—at home, in schools, through the media and the community.” Papers focussing on one or more of these settings, quantitative and qualitative studies as well as conceptual and historical analyses are welcome. Sex and relationships education, sexual and reproductive health and sexuality and rights are all on the agenda.
Barbados-based researcher, Professor Christine Barrow, recently became a member of the journal’s editorial board. She says that there is quite a lot of research into adolescent sexuality being conducted in the Caribbean. However, most of it remains in the framework of knowledge, attitude, behaviour and practice (KABP) surveys.
“We know a lot about the ‘what’ of sexuality but not too much about the ‘why’,” she said. “We frame the research around individual attitudes and practices rather than looking at the structural drivers of sexuality. We’re still in a ‘risk’ mode, rather than the ‘vulnerability’ mode which takes a look into the wider environment to assess issues like gender and generational inequalities.”
Barrow said that looking upstream to answer why things are as they are will ultimately lead to better understanding of our context and more responsive programs and policies. She encourages Caribbean participation in this global process.
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