Adolescent Sexual Health Education Guiding Principles

To promote the optimal sexual health of young people in New York State, adolescent sexual health education programs supported by the New York State Department of Health should reflect the following guiding principles:

Sexual health education is responsive to the specific needs of young people and allows young people the opportunity to be active participants in the development and delivery of sexual health education.
Sexual health education is most effective when it takes a positive youth development approach that builds on young people's existing strengths, skills and external assets.
Sexual health education provides a full range of scientifically accurate information and options for sexual health and for reducing the negative outcomes of sexual behavior.
Effective sexual health education interventions are those that have been proven effective by demonstrating positive effects on behavior with the intended participants.
Sexual health education provides young people with opportunities to learn, practice and apply the skills required to maintain optimal sexual health.
Developmentally Appropriate
Sexual health education provides information and skills that are appropriate to the physical, intellectual and emotional development, as well as the sexual orientation, of the intended participants.
Culturally Appropriate
Sexual health education is tailored to the cultural and community norms of the intended participants.
Supported by Parents, Families and Communities
Sexual health education recognizes the larger context in which sexual behaviors occur and encourage the involvement and support of all people who have relationships with young people (e.g. parents, family members, peer and social networks, service providers, school personnel).
Facilitate Access to Health and Support Services
Sexual health education facilitates young people's access to needed health and support services.
Measurable Outcomes
Sexual health education programs have clear and measurable intended outcomes and regularly monitor their progress in achieving those outcomes.

More Information

Bureau of Child and Adolescent Health
Adolescent Health Unit
Corning Tower, Room 208
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12237
Voice: 518-473-6172
Fax: 518-474-5445