UA Project Trains New Generation of Youth Scholars

Perceptions of youth health and sexuality have shifted drastically, even within recent decades.

Likewise, the ways in which youth perceive their sexuality and health have evolved, as has classroom instruction and information relayed by mass and social media around such concepts.

To expand research, training and community involvement related to these issues, Stephen T. Russell, the University of Arizona's Fitch Nesbitt Endowed Chair, is collaborating with the UA's Adela C. Licona on the Crossroads Collaborative.

The Ford Foundation has named the initiative among six in the nation to receive an "Innovative Research on Youth Sexuality" grant that, at the UA, will be funded at $730,000 over the next two years.

"The Ford Foundation wants to stimulate research to involve youth around youth sexuality and rights and also to do good science so that it does not just sit on a shelf," said Russell, who also directs the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families.

All told, $4.1 million was granted to agencies and institutions also in northern California, Illinois, Michigan and New York.

The funding is part of a larger effort to "explore the social, economic and cultural forces shaping youth sexuality in the United States," the foundation announced.

“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,” Margaret Hempel, Ford’s director of sexuality and reproductive health and rights, said in a prepared statement.

“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," Hempel also said. [This article is continued at the UANews link below.]

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Apr 7 2011