Session: Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want: Engaging Children and Adolescents in Planning Sex Education (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

85 Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want: Engaging Children and Adolescents in Planning Sex Education

Friday, January 14, 2022: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Marquis BR Salon 12, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
Cluster: Adolescent and Youth Development
Symposium Organizer:
Monit Cheung, PhD, University of Houston
Importance: Health and sexual health are included in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for social workers to advocate and implement programs for the mission of protecting the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere. These goals were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 to be accomplished by 2030 with significant advocacy efforts initiated by social workers (

Aim: This symposium aims to identify research with a focus on advocating a user-oriented educational approach to deliver sexual health education for the prevention of child sexual abuse and other forms of sexual violence against children and adolescents. It starts with three presentations and engages the audience in developing a global agenda to advocate for healthy sex education.

Symposium Theme: Children and Adolescents Voicing Their Sexual Health Education Needs

Three teams of researchers analyzed findings from community surveys conducted in Hong Kong amid the Me-Too movement, with a mission to enquire the youth directly about how, when, and what sexual health education could be implemented for children and adolescents to protect them from getting biased and unhealthy information and prevent sexual exploitation. These findings included timing of sexual health education, discrepancies between children's wants/needs and adults' responsibilities, and educational means for evoking children's motivation to participate in planning and learning from sexual health education. Considering socio-psychological, biological, racial, and cultural differences, direct input from children and adolescents serves as a valuable tool to draw the world's attention to deliver developmental-appropriate, family-school-children collaborative sex education with preferences expressed by children and adolescents. This symposium will end with an exercise addressing how human diversity could be included in planning sex education around the globe. We will use the 'Global Goals for sustainable development' song to engage the audience to join the #WhatReallyReallyWant movement to support early education on sexual health for preventing sex-related problems.

Interactive Discussion:

1. Global Justice for Children and Adolescents: Wannabe (1 minute) video with a song by the Spice Girls will highlight the global goals for a sustainable movement focusing on helping children and adolescents with healthy development: end violence, quality education, end child marriage, eliminate poverty, and close the gender gap in information dissemination.

2. Sexual Health in Gender Equity Curriculum: Using the major findings in these three presentations as a start, the audience will break into two groups to discuss how to (1) work with their Institutional Review Board (IRB) to remove structural barriers to collect direct input from children and adolescents on sexual health topics; (2) engage and partner with the youth in different locales for planning sexual health curriculum; and (3) recommend how to increase a sense of gender equity when planning and implementing curricula for both genders integrated with gender-specific sexual health information.

3. Input to #WhatReallyReallyWant: Participants will provide examples to suggest how children's voices can be encouraged and utilized research and practice-based evidence in promoting the 17 Global Goals for People and Planet in the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development to be presented in the United Nations Social Work Day.

* noted as presenting author
Adolescent Preferences for Sexual Education Expressed By Hong Kong Teens
Holly Davies, MSW, University of Houston; Monit Cheung, PhD, University of Houston; Yu-Ju Huang, PhD, University of Houston
Motivation in Learning More about Sex Education: Direct Input from Secondary School Youth
Yu-Ju Huang, PhD, University of Houston; Monit Cheung, PhD, University of Houston; Holly Davies, MSW, University of Houston
Timing of Sex Education: Hearing the Opinions from Elementary School Students
Monit Cheung, PhD, University of Houston; Patrick Leung, PhD, University of Houston; Yu-Ju Huang, PhD, University of Houston; Shu Zhou, MSW, Huazong University of Science and Technology; Xin Chen, Ph.D., Soochow University; University Houston, University of Houston; Amanda Ford, PhD, Houston Baptist University
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