The Ford Foundation has announced grants totaling $4.1 million to six organizations to design and undertake innovative research on youth sexuality in the United States. The research is intended to provide new data and analysis for public discussion of policies and programs that affect young people's sexual choices and health, according to a news release from the foundation.
Research could shed new light on factors shaping youth sexuality “at a time when the culture is rapidly diversifying, social media and other social technology are ascendant, and young people are buffeted by destabilizing economic conditions,” the release said. Ford also noted that research into human sexuality is “perennially underfunded, concentrated in biomedical disciplines, frequently lacks reference to the lived experiences of young people, and is often politicized by a deep ideological divide.”
“We have long invested in groundbreaking social science research on sexuality, and these new projects represent the next generation of exploration into this very human part of our lives,” said Margaret Hempel, Ford's director of Sexuality and Reproductive Health and Rights. “The thing that most excites us about these projects is the explicit commitment of the teams to link their research to public conversation and public policy debate. The evidence from this research really could give voice to some of the struggles young people face today as they search for understanding of their sexuality, and also help advance how we think about programs and policies intended to help them.
“... Our work in this area is motivated by a belief that deeper understanding of human sexuality is essential to healthy social relationships and strengthens our ability to promote the right of all people to sexual health and well being. We're delighted to support research that we think will contribute to both over time.”
It's great ... no, not great, it's phenomenal to see some major leadership and support in this area, isn't it? Somehow, we're thinking that, Wow. This sounds like it might be more worthwhile than throwing millions of dollars into abstinence-only education.
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