We’re excited to announce the release of our newly completed Community Needs Assessment findings! In 2022, Amplify partnered with OSU Center for Family Resilience and OSU Diversity and Rural Advocacy Group to conduct research with the goal of identifying adolescent and young adult sexual health and well-being needs and health disparity gaps resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Between April 2022 to August 2022, researchers collected survey data from 791 participants, conducted 20 interviews, and held three focus groups with diverse Tulsa residents, including teens, young adults, parents, educators, medical professionals, and others.
This research allows us to identify the barriers that exist in our community for young people seeking sexual health education programs and wellness services, and the findings will inform not only our organization but many of our partners as we look to the future and advance youth sexual health and well-being in Tulsa.
- 92% of adults surveyed agreed that sexual health education should happen in local schools.
- Over 40% of participants stated they would like to learn more about teen development and how to talk to their teens about sex.
- Before the pandemic 50% of teens and young adults reported they had high access to sexual health services, but in 2022, only 17% felt they had high access.
- Nearly all of the interview participants expressed concerns about the future of Tulsa due to discriminatory policies, attitudes, and laws taking hold in our area and state.
We know that our community needs and wants more information about sexual health, and providing honest and accurate information to teens helps them make the best decisions for themselves. It’s critical that we support young people and parents in having conversations about sexual health early and often. It doesn’t have to be awkward! Find resources on our website for talking with teens about sex (for parents and trusted adults) and for talking with parents and trusted adults about sex (for teens).
“You gotta break that log jam that says if you teach your kids about sex, they’ll have sex. That is statistically false. I mean, it’s just undeniably, statistically false. In fact, the statistics bear out that if you don’t teach them, they’re much more likely to engage in stuff that’s mysterious and interesting.”Local Community Faith Leader
Community recommendations from the research findings include…
1. Expanding sexual health information and access to services
- Support comprehensive sex ed in school, community, and faith-based settings
- Increase website and social media outreach
- Raise awareness of existing resources
2. Demanding equity for populations experiencing health inequities
- Provide resources in multiple languages
- Ensure ALL young people have access to youth-friendly health services
- Advocate for policies that improve health outcomes
3. Eliminating the stigma that exists around discussing adolescent sexual health
- Accelerate community-driven support for youth sexual health
- Increase sexual health access and knowledge
- Encourage communication between teens and trusted adults
Alongside the expansion of evidence-based sexual health programs and services, the Tulsa County teen birth rate has declined by almost 58% since 2009. We are excited to share the results of this study with the community as we celebrate our 10th anniversary this year and raise awareness for youth sexual health and well-being in Tulsa.
The 2022 Tulsa Community Needs Assessment project was supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLT-1498 awarded to the City of Tulsa by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.