Bringing comprehensive sexuality education into italian lower secondary schools’ practice: A pilot study
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Università di Pisa Italy
CNCA Italy
Caritas Ambrosiana Italy
Mario Mieli Italy
Croce Rossa Italiana Italy
LILA Italy
Istituto Superiore di Sanità Italy
Istituto Superiore di Sanità; University di Roma La Sapienza Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A733
Theoretical and research evidence indicates that comprehensive sexuality education (cse) positively impacts on behaviour and attitudes of young people, by improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes and empowering them to make free and informed choices. This study aims to describe the creation and development of a pilot cse activity in lower secondary schools (lss) within the context of eduforist project. Eduforist is funded by the italian ministry of health and involves academics, the italian national institute of health and hiv/aids civil-society organisations (csos).

Evidence was collected through a desk review on regional and national normative documents, international literature and guidelines regarding sexually transmitted infections (stis), relationships and sexuality education (se). An online survey was developed to collect information on duration, content and methods used to implement school-based se (sbse) in italian secondary schools from 2016 to 2020. The results of the survey and desk review, along with focus groups and open discussions involving all partners were used to define objectives, contents, methods of delivery and evaluation of the pilot activity. Additional information was added after feedback from an expert advisory board.

A pilot activity was designed targeting lss students, in 4 different geographical regions, for a total of 11 schools involved. The activity consisted of 5 interactive interventions per class: 4 theoretical and practical modules (each consisting of a syllabus, a theoretical slides deck and a list of activating tools) and 1 intervention focusing on evaluation and deepening topics requested by the students. The evaluation have been carried out on educators’ (swot analysis, diary of the field) and students’ level (pre/post-tests and satisfaction questionnaires).

This pilot activity represents a first step towards the implementation of an evidence-based and integrated approach to sbse, to be promoted and implemented equally across the country.

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