Approaches, Forms, and Types of Sex Education


Approaches, Forms and Types of Sex Education
Approaches, Forms, and Types of Sex Education. Image credit:



Health Education:

Approaches, Forms, and Types of Sex Education


You may have watched Sex Education Seasons 1, 2, and 3 films but haven’t read Sex Education Seasons 1, 2, and 3 in texts.

In Sex Education Season 1 in Text, we defined sex education, sexuality education, and sexual health education and stated the difference between the three concepts in Sexual and Reproductive Health Education in writing. Again, in heightening our stance on seasonal versions of Sex Education, we shall in this Season 2a in Text; discuss approaches, forms, and types of sex education.

Eduonwheels is poised to writing seasonal sex education posts that are similar to pdf context quality. That is to say that all our sex education posts are as comprehensively educative as those of the pdf version.

The predominant challenge of encouraging safe behaviours among school-aged children, teenagers, and youths has led to the responsive evolvement of the approaches, forms, and types of sex education.


Forms of sexuality education


Sexual education happens over time through a potential variety of formal and informal programs and activities. The form that sex education takes and how it is identified, however, differs greatly.

1. Formal education

The core global focus of most formal sexuality education programs is on adolescents despite that sexuality education occurs throughout the stages of development and life – childhood, adolescence, youth, and elderly.

Sexuality education for adolescents occurs within the context of a central set of developmental progressions relating to biological, cognitive, and social-emotional changes.

The biological, cognitive, and social-emotional progressions of adolescence are greatly influenced and shaped by factors in the social environments, such as family, peers, educational systems, culture, religious institutions, and the society at large, some of which are aspects of informal sex education.

Formal sex education, contrary to peer education and extracurricular activities, is well placed to reach a majority of children, adolescents, and youths.


 2.Informal education

Informal sexuality education also occurs within the family, among peers, on the internet, and the media, and other cultural identities.

The role of sexuality education and human relationships fall predominantly to the informal sexuality education provided by parents, relatives, friends, peers, and the media, and formal sex education in schools, religious institutions, and other organizations.

Even though the parents in a family stands as a primary agent of sexual socialization through both clear and well-understood communications and displays, the role of parents as providers of informal sexuality education tends to diminish as the children become adolescents and adults. Sexual Socialization (can also be referred to as sexualization) is an informal process of sex education whereby individuals of a society learn skills, attitudes, values, ideas, and patterns of sexual behaviour related from infancy through adulthood. Many parents feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, or unprepared to tackle sexuality education themselves and are supportive of schools taking on this role.

Informal sex education is often insufficient, because of the complexity of knowledge and skills associated with healthy sexual-related topics such as contraception, STIs, abortion, emotional development, among others.

All forms of sexuality education can be seen as a reflection of cultural belief systems and values of a family and community regarding gender and sexual rules, and the appropriate role of sexuality in the lives of people.


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Approaches to sex education

Comprehensive sexuality education is healthy sexuality approach to sex education
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Comprehensive sexuality education is a healthy sexuality approach to sex education. Photo credit:

Two main approaches to formal sexuality education describing human sexual behaviours emerged through its historical development. These approaches have very different objectives, goals, purposes, and functions. They are behaviour change approach and healthy sexual development approach.

1. Behaviour change approach

Behaviour change approach, which is consistent with sex education, expresses a controllable natural drive communicated only in certain appropriate conducts, periods, and surroundings. In simple terms, behaviour change emphasizes the need to control sexual behaviour, especially among adolescents.

2. Healthy sexual development approach

Healthy sexual development approach, which is consistent with comprehensive sexual education based on a broader and positive view of sexuality, focuses on the promotion of healthy sexual behaviour as one aspect of overall human health development.

Behaviour change approach is represented by abstinence-only and abstinence-plus models whereas the healthy sexual development approach is represented by comprehensive sexuality education models.


Types of sex education program

The time is now ripe to delve into the types of sex education having discussed its forms and approaches. There are two basic types of sex education programs for teenagers and youth that represent two completely different schools of thought. They are Comprehensive Sexuality Education (Abstinence-plus) and the Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs.

1. Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Program or Abstinence-Only Program

Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage or Abstinence-Only Program teaches that the expected standard of human sexual activity or sexual behaviour is abstinence and a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage. The implication of this sexual health program is that sexual expression outside of marriage could not yield any psychological, social, and physical gains.

These programs tend to be concerned with religious-based values and use such terms as “chastity,” “virginity,” “purity,” and “the sanctity of marriage.”, excluding sex education about contraception, condoms, safer sex, abortion, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), masturbation, and other related


2. Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) or Abstinence-plus Program

Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is a rights-based and gender-focused approach to sexuality education that teaches a broad, holistic, and positive view about employs a healthy sexual development approach, covering topics such as sexual expression, relationships, and culture.

Building upon a thorough understanding of the developmental aspects and contexts of adolescence, CSE recognizes sexuality as a life-long human drive, as a potential source of pleasure for better social, physical and mental health as a natural, normal part of healthy living.

Comprehensive Sexuality Education is offered in schools, community settings, and faith-based or religious centers.

Its school-based program is age-appropriate that runs from early childhood (preschool and kindergarten) through high school unlike abstinence-only-until-marriage, covers the broad spectrum of sex education, including abstinence, safe sex, unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs)/HIV & AIDs, contraceptives, condoms, masturbation, body image, and more.​

Examples of approaches to comprehensive sexuality education program include:

– Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPP) under the United States (US) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which is overseen by the Office of Adolescent Health

– Gender-sensitive rights and responsibilities approaches such as It’s All One: Curriculum Guidelines and Activities, developed by the International Sexuality and HIV Curriculum Working Group and distributed by the Population Council.

California Healthy Youth Act formerly Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act. An Education Act intended to provide every student with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect their sexual and reproductive health from unintended pregnancy, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

– Abstinence Education Grant Program (AGEP) Under Title V Section 510 of the Social Security Act of the US government

– Multicomponent youth development interventions such as the Children’s Aid Society’s Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program.

– Teenpath Project developed by PATH, Thailand.


Components of comprehensive sexuality education

Components of comprehensive sexuality education include relationships, sexual decision making, parenting, and sexual orientation

In its Framework for Comprehensive Sexuality Education, the International Planned Parenthood Federation Framework (IPPF) identified seven essential components that all comprehensive sex education programs should include. They are gender, sexual and reproductive health, sexual rights and citizenship, violence, diversity, relationships, and pleasure.


The framework of Comprehensive Sexuality Education Models

The Guidelines that provide the basis and framework for comprehensive sexuality education are Healthy sexuality models and Sexual-health and reproductive rights:

 Healthy sexuality models

Five aspects of healthy sexuality models are addressed by the framework of the comprehensive sexuality education model. They are Sensuality, Intimacy, Sexual Identity, Sexual Health and Reproduction, and Sexualisation.

Sexual-health and reproductive rights

A rights-based approach to the comprehensive sexuality education model seeks to equip the youths with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values needed to determine their healthy relationships and enjoy their sexuality emotionally, socially, and physically.

Sexual-health and reproductive rights lays emphasis especially on issues of gender equity and the development of critical thinking. The comprehensive sexuality education in itself has an expanding vision and emerging focuses on Sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equity

Sexual rights guides to the knowledge of and active participation and advocacy around international human rights, policies, and cultural norms)


Importance of Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Beneficially, comprehensive sexuality education helps the youths develop self-esteem and life skills that encourage critical thinking, clear communication, responsible decision-making, and respectful behaviour. We shall discuss the detailed importance in subsequent seasons.


This blog content on ‘Approaches, Forms, and Types of Sex Education’ is categorized under Health Education

Our Health Education system is about creating and delivering impacting and empowering information relating to our health to our amiable readers for good, quality, and sustainable future healthy living – Eduonwheels 


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