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Black Women for Wellness Publishes New Report on Truths about Sex Education for Black Youth


Black Women for Wellness (BWW) is pleased to announce the release of its latest research report, titled "Sexy & Smart: Extracting Truths about Sex Education for Black Youth." 


Black Youth Sexual Health Explored in New Report by Black Women for Wellness

(Los Angeles, CA / March 1, 2024) –  Black Women for Wellness (BWW), a pioneering nonprofit organization dedicated to the health and well-being of Black women and girls is pleased to announce the release of its latest research report, titled “Sexy & Smart: Extracting Truths about Sex Education for Black Youth.” 

The report sheds light on the sexual and reproductive health landscape of Black youth in Los Angeles County, uncovering critical insights through a community-based participatory research approach grounded in a reproductive justice lens.

Watch the infographic video here.

The study – involving 281 digital survey responses, 2 virtual listening sessions, and 2 in-person focus groups with Black youth aged 14 to 30 –  provides a nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the demographic. 

Key findings encompass:

  • disparities in sexual health education
  • barriers to accessing healthcare services
  • communication preferences
  • the importance of diverse support networks

Key Facts from the Report on Black Youth Sexual Health:

High Rates of STIs among Black Youth: The report highlights that African Americans/Black people often experience 4-10 times higher rates of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV compared to other racial/ethnic groups, emphasizing the urgent need for targeted interventions.

Barriers to Healthcare Access: A significant 45.2% of respondents identified the limited availability of healthcare providers sensitive to the needs of Black youth as a major barrier. Racism, discrimination, and concerns about sexual health education in schools were also reported as obstacles.

Quality of Sex Education: While the report indicates a commendable 80.8% prevalence of comprehensive sex education, it emphasizes a nuanced perspective, with an average rating of 3.59 out of 5, suggesting a need for targeted improvements in the quality and efficacy of educational initiatives.

Policy Recommendations: The report offers a set of policy recommendations, advocating for comprehensive sexual education programs, increased access to reproductive health services, community-based outreach and education, reduction of stigma and discrimination, addressing socioeconomic factors, culturally competent healthcare providers, youth engagement and leadership, improved data collection, and collaboration among stakeholders.

Sex Education Recommendations: The report recommends that sexuality education be comprehensive, medically accurate, and culturally competent. “Instruction in sexuality education should include essential concepts and issues such as sexual orientation, sexual health, gender identity and power dynamics, intimate partner violence and sexual exploitation, healthy relationships, social and structural determinants, personal responsibility, risks for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancy, access to sexual and reproductive health care, and the benefits and disadvantages of condoms and other contraceptive methods.”

Commenting on the release of the report, Lonnell Schuler, Director of Youth Programs at Black Women for Wellness, stated:

“As a Reproductive Justice advocate, I’m here to say, let’s not blame Black youth for the STI crisis they are facing. This report shines a light on the real culprit: systemic failures in accessing healthcare and quality sex education, especially for Black girls. Let’s tidy up and create a space where everyone can thrive.”

The full report is available for download on the Black Women for Wellness website here.

Join BWW on Friday, March 1st for Black Women’s History Month Trivia Night, including trivia games, prizes and unveilings from the Black youth sexual health report. RSVP here.

About Black Women for Wellness:

Founded in 1997, Black Women for Wellness is a California-based nonprofit organization committed to the health and well-being of Black women and girls. Through education, advocacy, and leadership development, the organization seeks to empower communities and create lasting change in reproductive health, rights, and justice.

For media inquiries or interviews, please contact:

Black Women for Wellness

Myeisha Essex | Communications Manager

[email protected]