Appraising sex education across cultures is increasingly challenging given often-dissonant, overarching structures of sponsorship. Below is an overview of the global needs and frameworks, cultural challenges to these, and contemporary politics of definition that continue to make sex education for girls and young women a hot topic.

Urgency and Health Needs

An estimated 4.4 million abortions are sought annually worldwide by women 15 to 19 years old. At the same time, some 10 percent of births worldwide are to teenage mothers, who experience higher rates of maternal mortality than older women. In Asia, 32 percent of unsafe abortions occur among females 15 to 24. Realities such as transactional and cross-generational sex in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America heavily impact female decision making about family planning, health-risk containment, ...

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