Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) empowers young people, protects human rights, and addresses gender norms and gender equality. This kind of empowerment approach—which enables girls and other marginalized young people to see themselves as equals and to protect their own health—is gaining traction in some countries. CSE that incorporates gender, power, and rights is more likely to reduce rates of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy.

This fact sheet looks at the evidence on comprehensive sexuality education, the elements that make it successful, its impact so far, supportive UN policies, and key resources on developing effective programs. It provides an overview of the research findings presented in the article, “Sexuality Education: Emerging Trends in Evidence and Practice,” by Nicole Haberland and Deborah Rogow in the Journal of Adolescent Health, January 2015.

The fact sheet is part of a series summarizing the research featured in the Journal of Adolescent Health January 2015 supplement, which reviews the progress on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development.