The United Nations has come out with updated guidance to encourage education ministers, especially in developing countries, to invest further in comprehensive sexuality education for young people, offering advice on when and how it can most effectively be delivered.

The voluntary guidelines offer a more progressive approach than previous iterations, promoting a “positive” and broad understanding of what can be included in comprehensive sexuality education — or CSE — with a focus on gender, avoiding early pregnancy, and rights.

We are seeing a big upswing in interest and seriousness in addressing young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Castle said. This is linked to a realization that the status quo — including abstinence-only sexual education — is proving ineffective, he suggested.

Insiders said the revised guidelines had proved divisive even between the U.N. agencies working on them — which included UNESCO, UNAIDS, UNFPA, and UN Women, among others — with some calling for the document to be “watered down” to avoid alienating certain member countries.

Read the full article on sex education by Sophie Edwards at Devex International Development