Texas currently has the fourth highest teenage pregnancy rate in the United States, with more than 73,000 girls becoming pregnant each year. Many public schools in Texas teach an abstinence-only curriculum, leaving a large number of teens without the sexual and reproductive health information they desperately need.
In order to change this, EngenderHealth implemented Gender Matters (Gen.M) in Travis County, Texas, where the teenage pregnancy rate exceeds that of the state.
Supported a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Gen.M is a cutting-edge pregnancy prevention and violence prevention curriculum-based educational program that builds on our pioneering work with men across 26 countries through the Gender & Men As Partners program.
Gen.M explores how inequitable and unhealthy gender norms affect adolescent sexual decision making. Gen.M works to educate and encourage youth through:
- A 20-hour curriculum-based educational workshop,
- A social media campaign, and
- Youth-generated video messages about gender, relationships, sexual decision making, and prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Gen.M underwent a randomized control study with 14-16-year-old youth in Central Texas from 2010-2015. During this study, Gen.M partnered with SafePlace facilitators to educate youth involved in the Travis County Summer Youth Employment Program. Gender Matters has been replicated with other populations, including with Native youth, older youth (18-24 years old) in Austin, Texas, and in a rural community setting in Southern Oklahoma.