A common query UN|HUSHED receives is about our reasons behind using an evidence-informed approach instead of an evidence-based approach to write our curricula. While many types of curricula are valid and have their place in sexuality education, there are specific reasons why UN|HUSHED prefers to write our curricula using an evidence-informed approach.
Before I delve into this, let me take a step back and start with the definitions of evidence-based and evidence-informed curriculum.
• Evidence-based curriculum—is based on a specific educational intervention which has undergone rigorous scientific evaluation to statistically confirm that the intervention group has learned more than the control group.
• Evidence-informed curriculum—brings together leading educational research, including evidence-based studies, with the real-life experience and wisdom of current best practices.
A limitation of the evidence-based approach is the educational intervention may not be effective for participants in other contexts such as different socioeconomic backgrounds or ethnicities. This risk is alleviated in the evidence-informed approach as the entire research landscape can be leveraged in its curricula.
Let me explain using an example; An evidence-based program for building muscle showed in one month, men were able to increase their muscle mass by 5% with 3 strength training sessions per week and by consuming 500g of beef every day 1. In isolation, this study was a success! However, a female vegetarian who does not like strength training, would not be able to build muscle following the steps outlined in the above evidence-based study. This is when using an evidence-informed approach would be valuable as other muscle building studies show similar results but using different participants and various exercises and diets.
Using this robust body of research combined with the practicing wisdom of sport medicine doctors, the likelihood of any community member to successfully build muscle considerably increases. Evidence-informed programs can also be updated more regularly as they do not need to adhere to the strict scientific evaluation required for the revision of evidence-based programs.
1 This is a fictional study for demonstrative purposes
This is why UN|HUSHED uses an evidence-informed approach as it allows their curricula to be:
Radically up-to-date, with annual updates
Our access to updating annually is crucial for UN|HUSHED to continue to provide inclusive, flexible, innovative, and medically accurate curricula; reflecting the ever-evolving diversity of humanity and the research behind it. If I want to build muscle, I know which program I would use.