Whipple Plenary | Friday, June 14, 2019

Dismantling Traditional Teen Pregnancy Prevention Approaches: Moving from a Risks to a Rights-based Approach

Presented by: Sofia Jawed-Wessel, PhD, MPH

While teen pregnancy prevention has traditionally been framed as a solution to a problem, it is important to consider the impact this perspective has on young people, especially when programs do not address trauma or disparities. The messages we choose have the power to support, or impede, the wellbeing of youth. We will consider these alternatives and how prevention programs can integrate with justice frameworks to reduce judgment and shame-based tactics while supporting the health of all young people, including young parents.

About Sofia

Dr. Sofia Jawed-Wessel teaches and generates new knowledge in the area of public health as an Associate Professor at The University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Director of the Midlands Sexual Health Research Collaborative. The long-term goal of her research trajectory is to understand how people’s intimate relationships are impacted by sexual and/or maternal objectification. Dr. Jawed-Wessel’s teachings utilize a sex-positive and pleasure inclusive approach to providing medically accurate, comprehensive sexuality education to undergraduate students as well as in the local Omaha community. Dr. Jawed-Wessel also fights for women’s rights and reproductive justice and has successfully argued in favor of comprehensive sex education in Omaha Public Schools. She is a 2017 Ten Outstanding Young Omahans recipient as well as a 2017 Women’s Center for Advancement Tribute to Women Honoree and received the 2017 Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women Outstanding Achievement Award. Her 2016 TEDxOmaha talk “The lies we tell pregnant women” was promoted by TED.com and has been viewed over 3 million times.