What do sex, kids, and community based organizations have in common? A lot, according to Academic Edge… check it out!

Sex in the CBO: Community Based Organizations as Avenues for Addressing Sexual Health

“Sexual health is a problem in the US. Kids get pregnant. Kids get diseases. Kids are in unhealthy relationships. We aren’t doing enough. Maybe we don’t know how, maybe we don’t care, or maybe we just duck and cover, pulling the ostrich maneuver and hoping for the best.” Rick Goldsworthy, PhD, argued recently, going to note that, “While sexual health outcomes in the United States aren’t ideal, a lot of good people are trying to make a difference. And one of those places where adults often try to help with sexual health, or get called on to help even if they don’t want to, are community based organizations. The YMCA, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Girls Inc. Any place you have a group of kids in social settings on a regular basis, you will have sexual health related issues and opportunities to make a difference.”

Adults working in YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs, and practically all other youth oriented community based organizations are called upon to handle sexual health related issues. Really. Let’s talk about it. That’s what Sex in the CBO (Community-Based Organization) is all about. Helping people make a difference in the sexual health lives of the children and young adults they work with on a regular basis.

We recently presented a poster on aspects of our project. Here’s the nitty gritty.

Summary of the Sex in the Community Based Organization 2014 American Public Health Association Presentation

Who talked about sex, kids, and community organizations?

Richard Goldsworthy, PhD, MSEd , Academic Edge, Inc., Bloomington, IN

Christopher M. Fisher, PhD , Department of Health Promotion, Social & Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE

J. Dennis Fortenberry, MD, MS , Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN

Kathleen Baldwin, MSW, CSE, CC , Tell Kathleen Anything, Indianapolis, IN


U.S. adolescent sexual health remains suboptimal. Research suggests community-based organizations (CBOs) and youth development professionals (YDP) represent an important and willing channel for addressing this problem; however, they frequently lack the education and support resources to do so effectively.


To evaluate web-deliverable resources for supporting CBO-based YDP to address sexual health related issues within their organizations.
Methods. Implemented iterative, user-centered development processes, coupled with behavior change theory and extensive input from YDP and sexual health experts, to develop a CBO-targeted sexual health portal, mightyresource.org. Conducted a repeated-measures, mixed-methods, field trial examining stage-of-change, knowledge, beliefs, intentions, self-efficacy, and other factors affecting engagement in key sexual health roles.


Participants found the site useful and usable, and highly recommended it to colleagues. Significant growth was observed on several core study variables, including role awareness, intentions/willingness to engage in roles, and confidence to do so. Participants noted several areas of need for additional tools and resources and suggested changes to the current resources.


CBO-based YDP are well-situated to address sexual health issues among many underserved adolescents. mightyresource.orgexpanded YDPs’ definitions of sexual health, increased their awareness and willingness to engage in different sexual health related roles, and improved their confidence to do so. Project resources will be shared and implications for future efforts discussed.
Supported in part by grant #070522 from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

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