What's Happening

Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing! (Note: The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)


Sex Ed for People with Developmental Disabilities: "Nothing About Us Without Us"
September 4, 2018

Sex Ed for People with Developmental Disabilities: "Nothing About Us Without Us"

By Katherine McLaughlin, MEd | September 4, 2018
Founder and Director of Training, Elevatus Training

I remember the day Karen Topper asked me the question. “Can we create a sexuality education curriculum where people with developmental disabilities are the teachers? Can we have them be actively involved in creating this curriculum?”

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Tags: School health education, Teens, Sex education, Sexual and reproductive health
Elementary Health Education: Observations from a Student
July 17, 2018

Elementary Health Education: Observations from a Student

By Jenna | July 13, 2018
Transitioning to 6th Grade

Editor’s note: I had an opportunity to talk with the daughter of a friend about some of her recent school health education experiences. Here are some of her comments.

I just graduated from 5th grade. I’m excited about what’s coming next—I’m going into middle school next year!

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Tags: Adolescents, School health education, Sex education
Intentional Advocacy in the South: Success Starts with Trust and Community
May 22, 2018

Intentional Advocacy in the South: Success Starts with Trust and Community

By Michael Everett, MHS | May 22, 2018
Project Director, ETR

Advocacy is an extraordinary and powerful tool. This is a strategy that can tailor itself to the unique needs and culture of any service-related organization. It’s also genuinely exciting to offer technical assistance to organizations interested in putting advocacy to work.

These are just some of the reasons ETR’s team embraces any opportunity we are given to support organizations in building advocacy skills and practices.

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Tags: Capacity building, HIV-AIDS, HIV, CISP, Advocacy
Intentional HIV Advocacy in the South: Our Newest e-Learning Resource
March 29, 2018

Intentional HIV Advocacy in the South: Our Newest e-Learning Resource

By BA Laris, MPH & Nic Carlisle, JD | March 29, 2018
Program Manager, ETR (BAL) & Executive Director, Southern AIDS Coalition (NC)

When you hear the term “HIV and AIDS advocacy,” what do you think of? In our work we have found there are typically two responses:

“Yes! This is how we get our voice heard!”

“Umm, well, I am glad people are working on these issues, but I don’t really know how that all actually works.”

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Tags: E-learning, Advocacy, HIV-AIDS, HIV
What Pre-Flight Safety Speeches Teach Us About Safer Sex
March 8, 2018

What Pre-Flight Safety Speeches Teach Us About Safer Sex

By Mia Barrett, MEd | March 8, 2018
Research Associate, ETR

I spend a lot of time traveling for my work as a research coordinator. I’m in airports and on airplanes all the time. I board my plane, find my seat and listen to the flight attendant deliver the pre-flight safety speech. As a sexuality educator, I’d like to see us teach that sexual interactions should come with a similar safety briefing.

By Mia Barrett, MEd
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Tags: Sex education, Safer sex
ETR's Kirby Summit Rises Again
March 6, 2018

ETR's Kirby Summit Rises Again

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | March 6, 2018
Senior Editor, ETR

The Kirby Summit is a one-of-a kind experience. This small, invitational convening gathers experts from across the nation. They meet over two days to talk about promoting adolescent health and reducing health risks.

Okay, you’ve probably heard about other events similar to this. Why is the Kirby Summit so special?

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES
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Tags: Adolescent development, Developmental neuroscience, Sexual and reproductive health, Kirby summit
Disrupt Your Thinking: It's Good for Sexual Health Education
February 6, 2018

Disrupt Your Thinking: It's Good for Sexual Health Education

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.

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Tags: Kirby summit, Developmental neuroscience, Sex education, Adolescent health, Sexual and reproductive health
Can We Say That? Communicating About Sex Ed in the Age of Major Spam
January 26, 2018

Can We Say That? Communicating About Sex Ed in the Age of Major Spam

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | January 26, 2018
Senior Editor, ETR

Here at ETR, we care about sexual and reproductive health. We produce and distribute materials used in sexuality education. We do research. We train trainers and educators.

That means we often use words such as “sex” in our blog posts and newsletters. 

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Tags: Sex education, Adolescent health
Developmental Neuroscience & Adolescent Sexual Health: Emotion
December 12, 2017

Developmental Neuroscience & Adolescent Sexual Health: Emotion

By Stephanie Guinosso, PhD, MPH | December 12, 2017
Senior Research Associate, ETR

Dr. Douglas B. Kirby was an extraordinary man. His lifetime contributions to adolescent sexual and reproductive health transformed the field, both in research and in practice. In February 2016, ETR hosted the inaugural Kirby Summit in honor of Dr. Kirby. We continued our exciting conversation at our second convening in May, 2017.

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Tags: Developmental relationships, Developmental neuroscience, Sexual and reproductive health, Adolescent health, Kirby summit
A Big Cheer for the California Healthy Youth Act
October 3, 2017

A Big Cheer for the California Healthy Youth Act

By Joan Singson | October 3, 2017
Director of Population Health, San Joaquin General Hospital

California is helping to pave the way! Adolescent sexual health education got a big boost when the California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA) was enacted in 2016. Across the nation, health educators and advocates for comprehensive sexuality education are looking at California’s legislation as a model that puts student knowledge, skills and well-being first.

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Tags: Sex education, Adolescent health, Sexual and reproductive health, legislation
A Message From My Gay Brothers on National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
September 25, 2017

A Message From My Gay Brothers on National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

By Michael Everett, MHS | September 25, 2017
Project Director, ETR

As we gear up for National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, I have a message for you from my gay brothers. That’s right. Not to them, but from us to you. We need your help! Yes, you!

For the last 30+ years, HIV has been instrumental in drawing attention to the experiences of gay men in the United States

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Tags: National Gay Mens HIV-AIDS Awareness Day, HIV-AIDS, HIV, health equity, equity
ConDEMO? How the Heck Did You Come Up with That?
September 21, 2017

ConDEMO? How the Heck Did You Come Up with That?

By Regina Firpo-Triplett, MPH, CNC, MCHES | September 21, 2017
Chief Executive Officer, dfusion

Back in the 1980’s, I worked in Los Angeles County providing sexual health education (called “family life education” at that time). Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex” played constantly on the radio, and HIV was a new and frightening sexually transmitted infection that was drastically changing how and where sexuality education was offered. 

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Tags: Sex education, Condoms, Adolescents, Sexual and reproductive health, ConDEMO
The Gift: Inspiration
July 28, 2017

The Gift: Inspiration

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | July 28, 2017
Senior Editor, ETR

A couple of days ago, I spent some time with ETR's 2017 Kirby interns. What an extraordinary group! This year's interns all bring international background and deep experience to their time at ETR.

The group has given me a healthy dose of inspiration. 

(And that fun photo shows Lisa Unti, ETR Research Associate and general internship mentor, Love Odetola, Dharmit Shelat and Selah Agaba.)

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Tags: Mentoring, Global health, International health, Kirby internship
Disrupting What You Think You Know: Sex and the Teen Brain
December 19, 2016

Disrupting What You Think You Know: Sex and the Teen Brain

By Karin Coyle, PhD | December 19, 2016
Senior Research Associate, ETR

ETR is delighted to announce the release of our report on the 2016 Kirby Summit. If you work with adolescents to address sexual and reproductive health, I strongly encourage you to check it out.

Here’s why. We deliberately designed this invited Summit to challenge and disrupt what we thought we knew about adolescent health behaviors.

Report on the 2016 Kirby Summit

Peterson AJ, Coyle KK, Guinosso SA, Christopher DE, and Charles VE. Sex and the teen brain: Disrupting what we think we know. Scotts Valley, CA: ETR Associates, 2016. 

By Karin Coyle, PhD
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Tags: Research, Kirby Summit, Adolescents, Risk reduction, Neurodevelopment, Sexual and reproductive health, Neuroscience
Currently Exploring: Answers--and Questions--About PrEP
September 6, 2016

Currently Exploring: Answers--and Questions--About PrEP

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | September 6, 2016
Senior Editor, ETR

In 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved oral Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis of HIV (PrEP). In a very short period of time, PrEP has substantially changed the HIV prevention landscape. It’s effective (when taken) and has an excellent safety profile.

How well is it working in different populations? I took a quick dive into some recent reports to get an update.

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES
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Tags: HIV-AIDS, HIV, HIV prevention, PrEP
"But Those Teens Don't Look Like Us": Adapting Video Content for Evidence-Based Programs
August 31, 2016

"But Those Teens Don't Look Like Us": Adapting Video Content for Evidence-Based Programs

By Joan Singson and Suzanne Schrag | August 31, 2016
Program Manager and Editor/Product Manager, ETR

Do you like stories? Most people do, and, like Peter Seller’s character in Being There, “We like to watch.” Many of the evidence-based programs (EBPs) being used across the country, including many that ETR distributes, incorporate DVDs. Videos can be a useful and engaging strategy to hold participants’ attention, encourage fruitful discussions and allow youth to personalize information by relating to the characters’ stories and situations.

One of the most frequent questions we get concerning program adaptations relates to videos—in particular, whether videos can be left out or replaced with other videos. Often the question arises when facilitators do not think the included videos are representative of the youth they serve.

By Joan Singson
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Tags: Evidence-based interventions, Adaptation, Videos
Youth Who Puzzle Us: Recent Work in Neuroscience Explains Why
August 29, 2016

Youth Who Puzzle Us: Recent Work in Neuroscience Explains Why

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.

Webinar: Survive or Thrive? Re-Envisioning Adolescent Success

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 Vignetta Charles, PhD
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Tags: Neurodevelopment, Neuroscience, Teens, Risk reduction
Including LGBTQ Youth in Pregnancy Prevention: How to Make It Work
August 25, 2016

Including LGBTQ Youth in Pregnancy Prevention: How to Make It Work

By Cassidey Streber, MA | August 25, 2016
Program Coordinator, Youth Services of Tulsa, Adolescent Health/PregNOT

A student I’ll call Shay came in and sat at the back of my classroom. It was the first class meeting. Other students came bounding in, adding a bit of lively chaos to the mix.

I surveyed the students as they settled and we got started. I took note of Shay in particular. Shoulders up. Sighing. Arms crossed. Uncrossed. Looking out the window. Scribbling on a piece of paper. Not interacting with other students. Not looking at me. Not really there.

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Tags: Inclusive education, LGBTQ youth, Pregnancy prevention, Sexual and reproductive health
What Educators Need to Know About Online Sex Trafficking
August 23, 2016

What Educators Need to Know About Online Sex Trafficking

By Pamela Anderson, PhD, and Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | August 23, 2016    
Senior Research Associate and Senior Editor, ETR

First published on the Psychology Benefits Society blog of the American Psychological Association.

What comes to mind when you hear the words “sex trafficking”?

If you’re like a lot of people, you might think of a sinister alley in a foreign country serving as the local red light district. Or you might imagine a woman who comes to the U.S. with hopes of a better life for herself and her family who is then forced to sell her body to pay debt bondage. Maybe you think of a young woman violently forced by a hated pimp to work the streets.

By Pamela Anderson, PhD
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Tags: Human trafficking, Technology, Sexual and reproductive health, Sexual violence prevention, Violence prevention
Measuring Consistency of Contraception Use Over Time Among Teen Mothers
July 19, 2016

Measuring Consistency of Contraception Use Over Time Among Teen Mothers

By ETR | July 19, 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 19-21.

Teen parents face a number of challenges. When a teen mother has a rapid repeat birth—a second (or more) child before age 20—the challenges become even greater. Almost 1 in 5 teen births is a repeat birth, and only about 1 in 5 sexually active teen mothers use the most effective birth control methods.

For the past 6 years, ETR researcher Pam Drake, PhD, has been collaborating with Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA) Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine on a project designed to support teen parents and prevent unintended repeat births. One strategy in the project is to increase the use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). These contraceptives, including IUDs and hormonal implants, are the most effective available today, and are safe for most women, including adolescents.

On Wednesday, July 20, Dr. Drake and co-presenters Mona Desai, MPH, Leslie Clark, PhD and Vivian Okonta, all from CHLA, are offering a poster describing how they measured the consistency of contraception use over time with the teen mothers participating in their project.

Pamela Drake, Mona Desai. Measurement Consistency of Contraception Use Over Time Among Teen Mothers. Wednesday, 7/20/16, 3:30-5:00 p.m. Poster #210 in the Evaluation Section, East Foyer of the Key Ballroom.

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Tags: Evaluation, OAH TPP, Pregnancy prevention, Teen moms, Adolescent health, Sexual and reproductive health

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