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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.)
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.
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 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 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 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 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.
By Pamela Anderson, PhD, and Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | August 23, 2016
Senior Research Associate and Senior Editor, ETR
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 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.
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 Barb Flis | April 14, 2016
Founder, Parent Action for Healthy Kids
Are parents resisting comprehensive sex education in our schools? They’re certainly taking the rap for this. I still wonder why this is so when the polar opposite is true—parents are far more likely to be allies and advocates.
Too often, when it comes to sex ed, we fear parents rather than embrace them. I’d like to suggest a re-frame. Parents can be powerful people when we need support for effective sex education in schools.
By Luca Maurer, MS, CSE, CFLE | February 8, 2016
Director, The Center for LGBT Education, Outreach & Services at Ithaca College
Transgender people are in our families, our communities, our workplaces, our faith communities and our schools. They are part of the fabric of our society. Yet stigma and discrimination can make it extraordinarily difficult for transgender people to make their way in the world, and for everyone to learn accurate information about the lives and experiences of transgender people.