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Incorporating human sexuality content into a positive youth development framework: Implications for community prevention


  • Romeo, Katherine E.
  • Kelley, Michele A.


As approaches to positive youth development (PYD) gain momentum, the issue of sexuality - a critical component of human development - is being subsumed by ideological debates. In the current political climate, sexuality education is often relegated to biological and/or values-based approaches, neglecting essential relational and collective aspects of sexuality. Through the explication of sexuality as an important component of youth's social ecology, this paper provides a conceptual link between the goals of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States' (SIECUS) Guidelines for comprehensive sexuality education and those of PYD. We argue that sexuality, as a normative part of human development, culture, identity, and relationships, be approached from an asset-based perspective, rather than a deficit-based perspective. We propose a framework that illustrates how aspects of sexuality are embedded within PYD contexts, and demonstrates how a sexuality education program rooted in SIECUS guidelines can further PYD goals across community contexts.

Suggested Citation

  • Romeo, Katherine E. & Kelley, Michele A., 2009. "Incorporating human sexuality content into a positive youth development framework: Implications for community prevention," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 1001-1009, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:31:y:2009:i:9:p:1001-1009

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kirby, Douglas & Coyle, Karin, 1997. "Youth Development Programs," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(5-6), pages 437-454.
    2. repec:mpr:mprres:5429 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Adams, Heidi L. & Williams, Lela Rankin, 2011. "Advice from teens to teens about dating: Implications for healthy relationships," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 254-264, February.
    2. Adams, Heidi L. & Williams, Lela Rankin, 2011. "What they wish they would have known: Support for comprehensive sexual education from Mexican American and White adolescents' dating and sexual desires," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1875-1885, October.


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