Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is an age-appropriate, culturally relevant approach to teaching about sex and relationships by providing scientifically accurate, realistic, non-judgemental information. Sexuality education provides opportunities to explore one’s own values and attitudes and to build decision-making, communication and risk reduction skills about many aspects of sexuality.
The term comprehensive emphasizes an approach to sexuality education that encompasses the full range of information, skills and values to enable young people to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights and to make decisions about their health and sexuality.
CSE is integral to UNESCO’s strategy on HIV and AIDS with a focus on HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for children and young people through in-school and out of school based responses. In collaboration with UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO, in 2009 UNESCO published the first global guidance on sexuality education – International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education: An evidence-informed approach for schools, teachers and health educators . Click here for English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese and Thai.
UNESCO’s global programme on sexuality education is supported by technical and programming resources, including
- Case studies on the implementation of sexuality education programmes – Levers of Success Click here for French and Portuguese
- A six country study of the costs and cost effective of sexuality education (full report in English only). The executive summary is also available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
- A report on scaling up sexuality education (English)
- Young People Today. Time to Act Now – why adolescents and young people need comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services in Eastern and Southern Africa. Click here for French and Portuguese (forthcoming).
- Sexuality Education: A ten-country review of school curricula in East and Southern Africa (English only)
- Review of Policies and Strategies to Implement and Scale Up Sexuality Education in Asia and the Pacific (English only)
In 2014-2015, the programme will focus on new areas of work including: teacher training and sexuality education; school related gender-based violence; and, adolescent pregnancy and girls’ rights to education. For more information on the global programme click here
UNESCO works around the world to support the scale up and implementation of CSE in partnership with governments, bilateral partners, civil society organisations and young people. For more information on our activities, contact our regional advisors here: Eastern and Southern Africa; Western and Central Africa; Latin America and the Caribbean; Asia Pacific; Eastern Europe and Central Asia.