Acronyms and Glossary of Terms
AIDS-Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
CSE-Comprehensive sexuality education
CSO-Civil society organization
ESA-Eastern and Southern Africa
HIV-Human Immunodeficiency Virus
IEC-Information, Education, and Communication
PLHIV-People living with HIV
SDG-Sustainable Development Goal
SERAT-Sexuality education review and assessment tool
SOGIE-Sexual orientation and gender identity or expression
SRH-Sexual and reproductive health
SRHR-Sexual and reproductive health and rights
STI-Sexually transmitted infection
Adolescent-a person aged 10 to 19 years, as defined by the United Nations.
Age-appropriate-concepts, information, and skills based on the social, cognitive, emotional, and experience level of most students at a particular age level.
Bisexual-a person who is attracted to people of more than one gender.
Child- a person under 18 years of age, as defined by the United Nations.
Comprehensive Sexuality Education-a curriculum-based process of teaching and learning about the cognitive, emotional, physical, and social aspects of sexuality. It aims to equip children and young people with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values that will empower them to realize their health, well-being, and dignity; develop respectful social and sexual relationships; consider the well-being of others that are affected by their choices; and understand and ensure the protection of their rights throughout their lives.
Contraception-any means to prevent pregnancy, including abstinence, barrier methods such as condoms, and hormonal methods such as the pill, patch, injection, and others.
Curriculum-a compilation of lessons, designed to be delivered in a particular scope and sequence, that teach students of different ages.
Gender-refers to the social attributes, opportunities, and expectations associated with being male and female and the relationships between women and men, and girls and boys, as well as the relations between women and those between men. These attributes, opportunities, expectations, and relationships are socially constructed and are learned through socialization processes.
Gender identity-a person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned to them at birth. This includes the personal sense of the body, which may involve, if freely chosen, modification of bodily appearance or function (by medical, surgical, or other means).
Gender-based violence-violence against someone based on gender discrimination, gender role expectations, and/or gender stereotypes; or based on the differential power status linked to gender that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering.
Inclusive education-the process of strengthening the capacity of the education system to reach out to learners of all backgrounds and identities.
Intersex-people who are born with sex characteristics (including genitals, gonads and chromosome patterns) that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies. 'Intersex' is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of natural bodily variations. In some cases, intersex traits are visible at birth, while in others they are not apparent until puberty. Some chromosomal intersex variations may not be physically apparent at all. Being intersex relates to biological sex characteristics and is distinct from a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. An intersex person may be straight, gay, lesbian or bisexual, and may identify as female, male, both or neither.
Medically accurate-grounded in evidence-based, peer-reviewed science and research.
Reproductive health-a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being in all matters relating to the reproductive system, and not merely the absence of reproductive disease or infirmity. Reproductive health deals with the reproductive processes, functions, and systems at all stages of life, and implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life, the capacity to reproduce, and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so.
Reproductive rights-embrace human rights recognized in national laws, international human rights documents, and other consensus documents, and are the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children; and to have the information, education, and the means to do so, and the right to the highest attainable standard of sexual and reproductive health. It also includes their right to make decisions concerning reproduction free from discrimination, coercion, and violence, as expressed in human rights documents.
Sex-biological and physiological characteristics (genetic, endocrine, and anatomical) used to categorize people as members of either the male or female population (see also the definition of intersex).
Sexual health-a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction, or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected, and fulfilled.
Sexual orientation-each person’s capacity for profound emotional, affectional, and sexual attraction to, and intimate and sexual relations with, individuals of a different gender (heterosexual) or the same gender (homosexual) or more than one gender (bisexual or pansexual).
Sexual rights-the application of existing human rights to sexuality and sexual health. Sexual rights protect all people’s rights to fulfil and express their sexuality and enjoy sexual health, with due regard for the rights of others and within a framework of protection against discrimination.
Sexually transmitted infection-an infection caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites that is transmitted from one person to another during sexual contact.
Young person-a person between 10 and 24 years old, as defined by the United Nations.
Youth-a person between 15 and 24 years old, as defined by the United Nations. The United Nations uses this age range for statistical purposes, but respects national and regional definitions of youth.