Date: 2/20/2013
Creator: Rebecca Hershow
Source: Multiple Sources
Source Type: Literature
Link: Literature Review Feb. 2013

A review of articles, studies, and annual reports was conducted to find the advantages and disadvantages of mixed vs split-gender HIV/AIDS education. It was found that a HIV/AIDS prevention program should involve both male and female participants with a mix of mixed and split-gender sessions.

According to the findings from the review, there are some topics that are harmful to discuss in a mixed-gender setting, and it can be an important protective measure to separate genders for these topics. For example, having a session on decision-making and sexual behavior in a mixed-gender setting could inhibit female participants from developing a public voice inside and outside of the program. However, for other topics, it is important to have mixed-gender sessions. For instance, female and male participants should both be exposed to educational sessions on pregnancy. By having girls-only sessions on pregnancy, a program encourages males to put the majority of the burden from pregnancy on females.

Ideally, the female participants should be developing a public voice in their girls-only sessions, while the male participants are developing a more gender-equitable perspective. Then, when they come together for their mixed-gender sessions, they can have productive and respectful discussions on gender-based issues.

GRS has recently developed Generation SKILLZ Utshintsho. The 6-practice curriculum consists of a mix of split-gender and mixed-gender sessions. Generation SKILLZ Utshintsho is the “booster” Generation SKILLZ curriculum for year 2 of the GOAL Trial (RCT). GRS needs to continue to examine its curricula and determine if more or less split-gender sessions are necessary. These literature review findings may also have implications for GRS’ single-sex programming, such as SKILLZ Street and Champion’s League. It may prove necessary to introduce the opposite sex at some stage in these programs.