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.)


Sexual Harassment: The Water Cooler Conversation
November 30, 2017

Sexual Harassment: The Water Cooler Conversation

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | November 30, 2017
Senior Editor, ETR

Okay. It didn't happen at the water cooler. It was at an intersection of three cubicles—just a coincidental collection of colleagues crossing one another’s paths. We were talking about topics many of you have also been discussing with workmates, family and friends over the past several weeks—the instances of sexual harassment and assault that have been before the public eye.

Whom do we believe? What should be done? What can we do in our lives and our work to bring this kind of violence to an end?

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Tags: Affirmative consent, ETR products, Sexual assault prevention, Sexual harassment
Facilitation Quick Tips: I Usually Say Yes to This
November 16, 2017

Facilitation Quick Tips: I Usually Say Yes to This

By Gina Lepore, MEd | November 16, 2017
Research Associate, ETR

Here’s an engaging and powerful activity that’s a great way to introduce a learning process related to consent in sexual or romantic relationships. It’s ideal for a Training of Educators or Training of Trainers. With adaptation, it can also be used as a classroom activity with teens or young adults.

By Gina Lepore, MEd
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Tags: Affirmative consent, Facilitation Quick Tips, Facilitation, Training design
Observations About Gender Norms and Health - Part 2
October 24, 2017

Observations About Gender Norms and Health - Part 2

By Lori A. Rolleri, MSW, MPH | October 24, 2017
Principal, Lori Rolleri Consulting

Gender norms have a deep impact at all levels of our society and culture. In Part 1 of this post, I talked about some of the ways inequitable gender norms can negatively affect health behaviors and outcomes. In this post, I’d like to take a look at how we can use evidence-informed strategies to change that. How do we address harmful gender norms in curricula designed to prevent adolescent pregnancy and STIs?

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Tags: Pregnancy prevention, STD prevention, Gender norms, Norms, Adolescent health, Gender equity
Observations About Gender Norms and Health - Part 1
October 11, 2017

Observations About Gender Norms and Health - Part 1

By Lori A. Rolleri, MSW, MPH | October 11, 2017
Principal, Lori Rolleri Consulting

Are you one of those people who likes to sit in a park and people-watch? Me too. I like to think about why people do what they do. I’m fortunate that I have a career that actually pays me to do this—although not just by sitting on a park bench!

My people-watching is the type that involves talking with people, reading professional journals and researching the reasons why people do or don’t engage in certain health behaviors.

This is Part 1 of a 2-part series. Read Part 2 here.
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Tags: STD prevention, Pregnancy prevention, Adolescent health, Gender norms, norms, Gender equity
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
Why Teens Don't Report Cyberbullying
September 12, 2017

Why Teens Don't Report Cyberbullying

By Pamela M. Anderson, PhD | September 12, 2017
Senior Research Associate, ETR

First published on the blog of yth.org on August 2, 2017.

“When young people are cyberbullied, why don’t they reach out to trusted adults for help?” This is a question a lot of youth health providers are asking.

Think about it: here we are, a nationwide community of caring, concerned parents/guardians and professionals. We’re teachers, health providers, counselors, outreach workers, researchers and more. We want to support young people and empower them to live healthy, positive and productive lives.

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Tags: Violence prevention, Adolescents, Cyberbullying, Adolescent health
K-12 Sexual Harassment: A Few More Thoughts
August 11, 2017

K-12 Sexual Harassment: A Few More Thoughts

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | August 11, 2017
Senior Editor, ETR

“I didn’t even know it was sexual harassment.”

These are the words of a female high school student I spoke with recently. She and a male friend were discussing sexual harassment in their school. Girls being called “slut” because they wore a crop top. Hearing the slur “that’s so gay” on a daily basis. Feeling pressure to meet traditional expectations for gender roles. Not knowing how or when to step up and speak up to stop the harassment.

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Addressing the Sexual Health Needs of Adolescents During Humanitarian Crises
August 8, 2017

Addressing the Sexual Health Needs of Adolescents During Humanitarian Crises

By Selah Agaba, MA, MEd | August 8, 2017
Kirby Summer Intern, ETR

Sit with this for a minute…

There are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been violently displaced from their homes by conflict. Refugees makeup about 34% of this number and more than half of this refugee population are individuals under 18 years of age.

To put this last figure into perspective, the number of young people under 18 who have been violently displaced from home is more than the number of people in the whole state of North Carolina or the entire nation of Greece.

Read More
Tags: HIV treatment, HIV prevention, Humanitarian crises, Sexual and reproductive health, Global health, Adolescent health
Planned Parenthood Chat/Text: Changing Sexual Health Outcomes Through Texting
August 3, 2017

Planned Parenthood Chat/Text: Changing Sexual Health Outcomes Through Texting

By Nicole Levitz, MPH | August 3, 2017
Associate Director of Digital Health Education, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

“Meet people where they are.”

As sex educators we spend an enormous amount of time talking about this concept. It might mean starting with the basics, but it also means bringing interventions to folks, not just expecting them to come to us. That’s why Planned Parenthood developed and evaluated Chat/Text.

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Tags: Adolescents, Technology, Innovation, Texting, Birth control, Pregnancy prevention, STD prevention, Sexual and reproductive health
Peace Through Public Health
August 1, 2017

Peace Through Public Health

By Love Odetala, MPH | August 1, 2017
Kirby Summer Intern, ETR

I was born in West Africa and grew up in Senegal.

In Senegal, “Jamm Rekk” is a commonly used phrase. It means “Peace Only,” a phrase we use to pass peace unto others and to accept peace in return. Simply a way of saying hello.

A couple years ago, I started a venture called Jamm Rekk Projects (JRP). These are projects that seek to promote peace through public health.

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Tags: Youth empowerment, Gender equity, Kirby internship, International health, Adolescent health
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
Consent in Professional Relationships: 4 Things to Know About Serving Survivors of Sexual Assault
July 25, 2017

Consent in Professional Relationships: 4 Things to Know About Serving Survivors of Sexual Assault

By Bianca Palmisano | July 25, 2017
Owner, Intimate Health Consulting

Ask before kissing your date goodnight. Don’t grope strangers on the train (I mean, really, don’t grope anyone). Don’t force your children to give hugs or kisses to family members against their will. Our culture is becoming more accustomed to conversations around consent in intimate, interpersonal relationships.

But we are still fairly unfamiliar with how to model and apply consent in professional relationships. 

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Tags: Trauma, Trauma informed care, Violence prevention, Sexual and reproductive health
The ABC's of TOF's: Keeping New Teachers Trained on a Sexual Health Curriculum
June 27, 2017

The ABC's of TOF's: Keeping New Teachers Trained on a Sexual Health Curriculum

By Diana Andrews | June 27, 2017
PREP Program Manager, Garfield County PREP

I thought the really hard work had already been done. Three years ago, when I became the PREP Program Manager for Garfield County, Colorado, my predecessor had already gotten so many things accomplished. As impressive as her achievements were, however, it turns out that may have been the easy part!

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Tags: Schools, Rural communities, Pregnancy prevention, School health, Sexual and reproductive health, Adolescent health
Why Have We Ignored Young Fathers?
June 22, 2017

Why Have We Ignored Young Fathers?

By Taylor Vandenbossche, MPH | June 22, 2017
Graduate Research Intern, ETR

What comes to mind when you hear the words “young father”? I’ve noticed the narrative behind teen pregnancy often focuses solely on the thoughts and feelings of the mother. Funding and programs primarily serve teen moms.

So what about the young fathers? 

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Tags: Research, Adolescent health, teen fathers, Teen parents
Thriving Communities, Empowered Youth: Making Teen Pregnancy Prevention Work
June 20, 2017

Thriving Communities, Empowered Youth: Making Teen Pregnancy Prevention Work

By Shaunae Motley | June 20, 2017
Director of Programs, Quest for Change

Every May, our communities mark National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. It’s a fine opportunity to reflect on the difference prevention work makes in the lives of young people. Since peaking in 1991, teen births have dropped 64%. This historic decline includes significant progress in all 50 states and among all racial and ethnic groups.

However, despite these advances, disparities continue to exist—by age, race and ethnicity, geography and among youth from low-income families. 

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Tags: adolescent health, peer education, Youth voice, Adolescents, Rural communities, Pregnancy prevention
Re:MIX: Genuine Innovation in a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program
June 14, 2017

Re:MIX: Genuine Innovation in a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program

By Mandy Ackerman, LMSW, MPH & Jenifer DeAtley, LMSW | June 14, 2017
Senior Program Coordinator & Director of U.S. Programs, EngenderHealth

Here’s a story that gives us chills—the good kind. A group of our peer educators presented a plenary at a local conference. They shared their personal stories before an audience of about 100 youth-serving professionals from the Central Texas community.

These peer educators are all young mothers. 

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Tags: Adolescent health, Sexual and reproductive health, peer education, Pregnancy prevention, Teen parents, Teen moms
2017 Kirby Summit Doesn't Disappoint
May 24, 2017

2017 Kirby Summit Doesn't Disappoint

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | May 24, 2017
Senior Editor, ETR

A group of developmental neuroscientists walks into a room. They sit down with some sexual health experts. They all talk about ways to support healthy adolescent development.

What happens then? As it turns out, some pretty amazing things.

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES
Read More
Tags: Research, Kirby summit, Neuroscience, Developmental neuroscience, Sexual and reproductive health, Sexual risk reduction
May 4, 2017

A New Look at an Old Monster

By Laura Perkins, MLS | May 4, 2017
Project Editor, ETR

Over a recent weekend trip with a group of kids ages 10-13, I decided to bring along some DVDs for fun. I checked Common Sense Media’s User Reviews and saw that parents and kids had rated the movies appropriate for 10+. I didn’t bother with actually reading the comments.

By Laura Perkins, MLS
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Tags: Movies, Media, Tweens, Adolescents, Affirmative consent

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