SAFE 4 PLAY
While sexually transmitted infections (STIs) affect individuals of all ages, STIs take a particularly heavy toll on young people. Additionally, the new estimates show that between 2015 and 2019, almost half of all pregnancies were unintended.
Condom use decisions are often affected by the “heat of the moment”, making it difficult for people to use logical and critical thinking. Judging a particular real-life scenario for the health risk it involves is a highly subjective process which is very complex to rationalise and accurately predict. For this reason, there are several strategies and intervention programs in place to encourage safer sexual behaviours. Yet, the majority of them have shown limited effectiveness. Even when people have good general knowledge about STIs and unintended pregnancies, they usually fail to apply this knowledge to estimate risks associated with their own sexual health.
Despite considerable efforts to identify sex education interventions that can reduce risky sexual behaviour, behaviour change remains a challenge. Stereotypical societal views about sexuality and parenting among people with disabilities may limit these individuals’ access to sex education and the full range of reproductive health services, and put them at an increased health risk. A study published in 2020 by Horner‐Johnson et.al, reported that pregnancies among women with disabilities are 42% more likely to be unintended than pregnancies among women without disabilities.
Gender and sexual minorities are a group of population that is often being stigmatized and marginalized based on their different sexual identity, orientation and practices. In result, they often face discrimination and rejection which deprived them from human rights and in this course, put them at an increased risk of STIs and unintended pregnancies.
Education interventions can implement evidence-based policies, procedures, and activities designed to promote a healthy set-up for all youth, including minorities. This is the main goal of BEVY.
The overall objective is to raise the knowledge and interest about sexual and reproductive health, enhancing best practices and educating opportunities, by involving scientists, teachers and other health promotion educators. The main emphasis of the intervention will be to reach the minority groups which are often mistakenly ignored by curriculum developers and educators.
Positive and inclusive environments can help all youth achieve their life goals and maintain good mental and physical health.
The consortium was carefully chosen in order to combine the necessary expertise required by these challenges. We have assembled a team of scientists, engineers and teachers that have a proven track record in a set of specialist fields, with internationally recognized expertise in various aspects of this project; Oxygono (NGO), Universitatea Din Bucuresti (Academia), Innovation Frontiers (Industry), T.R.I Technologos Research and Innovation Services (Industry).
The majority of the team has been actively working on digital interventions for education, not only for sexual health, but also for other areas of research such as data analytics. This expertise will not only help the consortium during the first design and implementation steps of this project, but also during the validation of the proposed solution.
BEVY’s results would be particularly useful for educators worldwide but also for policy makers in sex education and sexual health as they will provide data-driven insight into which aspects of tailoring and adaptive learning in educational interventions could be beneficial and worth investigating further. Oxygono (coordinator) has a very active role in policy making and will make sure that the results of this research project will be disseminated via the most suitable channels and drive informed choices in the area.
The main expected result of project is the development of an engaging, immersive, inclusive, personalised and self-paced serious game intervention for sex education which will be implemented in 3 stages:
Desk Research on Sex Education with emphasis on youth minorities.
Curriculum with emphasis on youth minorities.
Serious game for sex and reproductive health education.