Gender Matters for Native Youth
Since January 2015, EngenderHealth has worked with experts in Native health programming to create an inter-tribal Adaptation Manual for Gender Matters. By conducting literature reviews, interviews with key informants, and site visits to Native communities along with convening an advisory committee and review committee, EngenderHealth has worked to align the Gender Matters curriculum to meet the specific needs, attitudes, and interests of Native youth populations.
Gender Matters for Native Youth aims to create a Gen.M adaptation guide for Native youth, making Gen.M an option for various organizations serving this population. The Gender Matters Native Youth Adaptation Manual will add another resource to the currently limited options in sexual health education curricula developed or adapted specifically for Native youth. The implementation of programs specifically targeting Native youth, aimed at delaying sexual initiation and improving contraceptive use, serves as a possible solution to remediating the impact of teen pregnancy on Native populations.
Gender Matters for Native Youth is in the unique position to help Native youth learn ways to challenge and redefine unhealthy gender norms to those that are healthier and more equitable. Preliminary research revealed the high occurrence of teen pregnancy and intimate partner violence in Native populations. The high incidence of teenage pregnancy and sexual assault among Native youth coupled with the high rates of poverty experienced by this population has potentially detrimental consequences for Native families. These negative consequences include educational deficits, economic strain, and poor marital outcomes, as well as slowed cognitive, social, and physical development among children of adolescent parents.
EngenderHealth staff have led focus groups with youth from southern Oklahoma to gauge program interest and have conducted a needs assessment in the area.
The U.S. Programs staff builds capacity by providing individual, tailored training and support to organizations interested in utilizing the Gen.M for Native Youth Adaptation Manual.
For more information about implementing Gender Matters in your community, contact us.