By Amy Peterson, PhD | September 2, 2021
Senior Research Associate, ETR
Our 2021 Kirby Summit explored the relationship between sexually explicit media (SEM), like pornography, and young people's sexual health outcomes (including attitudes and behaviors). Here is what we learned in our research, including listening sessions and literature review.
By Shafia Zaloom | Setpember 10, 2019
Health Educator, Urban School, San Francisco
When talking about sexuality with adolescents, it's often easier to get the message across when you take the sex out of it. This is counterintuitive, I know. So here’s a story, a classroom activity and some examples of classroom discussions with my class that explain the concept.
By Ahna Suleiman, DrPH | May 29, 2019
AYSRH, Developmental Science & Youth Engagement Consultant
Consent is complicated. And learning about consent is even more so. Thinking back over conversations and experiences I’ve had the last six months, I am struck by how truly complicated it is.
By Barb Flis | May 23, 2019
Founder, Parent Action for Healthy Kids
I am approaching my 15th year of helping parents talk to their kids about sex. It’s hard for me to fathom that this equates to several hundred workshops, impacting thousands of parents and supportive adults. The parents from those early years now have adult children and, in many cases, even grandchildren.
I’ve been fortunate to have had contact with some alum who tell me how much our workshop affected them.
By Janelle Watson, MA, LMFT | January 17, 2019
Founder, Embrace Wellness
When it comes to figuring out how to talk to their kids about difficult topics, I find that parents want all the help they can get. Educators and providers often have opportunities to offer guidance that can help parents succeed.
What do parents want to know? Everything.
By ETR | November 29, 2018
We had an outstanding Kirby Summit IV this fall. This invitational gathering brings together experts from around the country who know a great deal about emerging issues in adolescent health. The Kirby IV summiteers focused on scaffolding for adolescent relationships. If you're not quite sure what that is, you'll want to watch this lively 3-minute video from ETR Senior Research Associate Pamela Anderson.
By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | October 23, 2018
Senior Editor, ETR
ETR has now hosted four Kirby Summits. These convenings bring together a small group of brilliant people with a shared commitment to promoting adolescent health and well being.
The key to the Summit’s uniqueness? While each one of the invited participants brings impressive expertise, as a group they come from different disciplines and perspectives.
By Pamela Anderson, PhD | October 11, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR
The Kirby Summit is one of the highlights of ETR’s year. Today, we embark on the fourth occurrence of this remarkable convening.
While we know a lot about adolescent development from our own professional perspective, people with deep expertise from other perspectives know things we do not. When we bring these different groups together, amazing things can happen. This is what the Kirby Summit is about.
By Ryan Watson, PhD | June 18, 2018
Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut
To come out, or not to come out? That is a very real question constantly facing LGBTQ youth, as well as a fair number of young adults, across their entire lifespan. As a researcher, one of my interests is the choices queer youth and adults make about being out. Who do they come out to? How does this affect their health and well-being?
By Karin Coyle, PhD | February 6, 2018
Chief Science Officer, ETR
The Kirby Summit has disrupted the ways I think about sex education. I hope it’s going to disrupt your thinking, too. ETR’s invitational Summit assembled some of the nation’s best-known developmental neuroscientists, along with similarly respected sexual and reproductive health specialists. The things we’ve learned by bringing our disciplines together are altering the ways all of us are conceptualizing sex education.
By ETR | May 15, 2017
Later this week, ETR will be hosting Year 2 of the Kirby Summit. This extraordinary event brings together national experts in adolescent development, developmental neuroscience and sexual and reproductive health.
Last year’s goal was to explore the unique intersection between these fields and discover new ways to understand sexual health and risk for adolescents.
By Vignetta Charles, PhD | August 29, 2016
Chief Science Officer, ETR
Do you work with adolescents? Have you ever faced situations like these?
Sofia is an excellent student, popular on campus and a delightful member of your peer health educator program. She knows everything about birth control, STI prevention and making smart choices. She loves educating her peers. She and her boyfriend come to see you one afternoon and tell you they are pregnant.
We recently collaborated with the California School Based Health Alliance on a webinar describing and applying the new insights in developmental neuroscience. Our goal is to re-think and re-envision how we educate, raise and care for young people on their path to lifelong health and wellbeing. You can find links to the webinar recording and slides ("Survive or Thrive? Using Neuroscience to Re-Envision Adolescent Success") and information about other upcoming CSBHA webinars here.
By ETR | July 18, 2016
Note: We're posting about some of the presentations ETR researchers and professional development specialists are offering at the Office of Adolescent Health Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference, July 19-20.
Learned anything new lately? Your brain is being bombarded by massive amounts of information every minute—sights, sounds, words, smells, sensations. What happens to all of that info? Thankfully, most of it is forgotten. Your brain takes a look at it and decides what to ignore and when to pay attention.
If you’re an implementer working with teens to build healthy skills for pregnancy prevention, you’ve got critical messages and skills you want these learners to attend to. What should you do? Use amazing brain science to make learning stick!
By Thao Ha, PhD | May 9, 2016
Assistant Research Professor, Arizona State University
Know any teens who’ve fallen in love lately? Chances are that you do. Most teenagers have been in love or have been involved in a serious romantic relationship by age 18 (Carver, Joyner & Udry). While teens often do not share their romantic experiences with adults, those of us working with adolescents—educators, health providers, researchers, community workers—need the best understanding possible of young people’s romantic relationships.
By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | February 25, 2016
Senior Editor, ETR
ETR’s inaugural Kirby Summit has started. While it’s not entirely clear what’s going to come out of this two-day event, I am certain it’s going to be powerful and different.
The Summit honors Doug Kirby, one of the greatest researchers the field of sexual and reproductive health has ever seen. Doug was also a senior research scientist here at ETR before his untimely death in 2012, and a colleague and true friend to many of us.
Doug had an insatiable curiosity and a love of civil debate. He’d certainly approve of this Summit!
By Ahna Suleiman, DrPH | November 19, 2014
Every sex educator I know has stories about young people who’ve challenged their faith in our ability to change adolescent sexual behavior. For me, one of those stories is about a ninth grader named Rose.