Sex in the CBO: Helping Youth Development Professionals Support Sexual Health

Academic Edge, Inc. is currently working on a research project to support youth development professionals working in community-based organizations (CBO). CBO help hundreds of thousands of kids each year and youth development professionals working therein are often called upon to address sexual health issues. Supported in part through a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a part of the National Institutes of Health, and in partnership with Indiana University and University of Nebraska researchers and other experts, the effort seeks to understand the types of sexual health related issues that youth development professionals encounter, the factors that make handling these situations easier or harder, and to develop resources to assist them, and their organizations, in handling sexual health issues in clear, appropriate, and effective ways.

“Sexual health is a core part of community based organizations missions,” says Dr. Rick Goldsworthy, principle investigator for the project, “although they may not always recognize this. Sex and sexual health are a central part of the lives of youth, from relationships to intimacy, gender identity to sexual bullying and discrimination, sexual health is much more than biological sex. We seek to understand how these diverse aspects of sexual health exist in CBOs, how they are (and are not) addressed, and how to help support them as part of human development.”

The first stage of the research is underway and includes nationally distributed interviews with youth development professionals. Surveys and media development are also underway. For more information about the project, or to participate in any aspect of the project, please visit cbosupport.org or email cbosupport@academicedge.com.


Academic Edge, Inc. is a media research and development company specializing in state-of-the-art learning tools for children and adults. We target health related issues ranging from STD and conflict prevention among teens and tweens, to FASD, ADHD, and other disorder education for lay care providers, to disease prevention and medical assessment training for healthcare providers. We particularly focus on the social aspects of health care: why do people do the things they do and how can we help them live healthier, happier, or more productive lives?

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