How much do you know about the menstrual cycle and fertility? How about the way different contraceptives work? Do you know how the major STDs affect the body? Can you explain the difference between sex and gender? Many CAPP and PREP projects are based in organizations that do not specialize in human sexuality. If you are not sure that you could comfortably and confidently answer a wide range of questions on sexual health, you may want to take advantage of the many resources available for your professional development.
Self-assessment is an excellent place to start. Healthy Teen Network has developed a self-assessment tool (PDF) for sexual health educators, much of it focused on content. Rate yourself so that you have a good sense of where your weaker areas are – the content areas where you could use a booster.
Planned Parenthood of NYC Training Institute
A wide variety of topics are offered in PPNYC’s Training Institute. Continuing education contact hours, including Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) contact hours, are available at no additional cost. Your local Planned Parenthood affiliate may also be able to provide in-service training.
National Sex Ed Conference
Sponsored by the Center for Sex Education, this annual conference offers workshops for new and seasoned sex education professionals. (Were you there last week? Tell us how it was!)
CAI (Cicatelli Associates Inc.)
CAI is a training center for NYS DOH AIDS Institute.
Online Training and Webinars
Answer (Rutgers University)
Answer offers online training and capacity building for sex education professionals, including topics such as “Sexuality ABCs” and “Sexual Anatomy and Response,” among many others.
Cardea eLearning Courses
While Cardea’s online courses are primarily for clinicians, educators may find value in courses such as “Family Planning Basics,” “Gender Diversity 101,” and “STD 101.”
Office of Adolescent Health: Online Learning Modules
OAH offers several online learning opportunities for organizations in the teen pregnancy prevention and expecting and parenting teen fields, including “Talking with Teens about Reproductive Health” and “Adolescent Development.”
Brushing Up: Brief Reading and Videos
- Planned Parenthood has an extensive and excellent educational website.
- Gender Spectrum is a good resource for understanding gender concepts and terminology.
- Many of the curricula we are using in the CAPP and PREP initiatives include background for program facilitators.
- On the ACT for Youth Contraception page, you’ll find video clips on each birth control method, as well as Birth Control Methods in Brief (PDF).
- Brief discussions of sexual health, sexual development, condoms and dental dams, STDs, and HIV/AIDS are also on the ACT for Youth site.
- Viewing resources that are designed for youth is a way to both brush up on the facts and see examples of ways to explain sexual health issues to youth. Just a few of these resources include Amaze videos for younger teens, Sex, Etc. and Power to Decide (formerly the National Campaign) articles, Planned Parenthood for Teens, IwannaKnow, TeensHealth, and ACT Youth Network. For older teens and young adults, Bedsider is a great resource.
For a more comprehensive list, download the Directory of Professional Development Opportunities in Sexuality Education (Word) from Future of Sex Ed.
If you have resources to suggest, please comment (or you can email me directly at email@example.com).