TITLE

Is earlier sex education harmful? An analysis of the timing of school-based sex education and adolescent sexual behaviours

AUTHOR(S)
Somers, Cheryl L.; Eaves, Matt W.
PUB. DATE
May 2002
SOURCE
Research in Education;May2002, Vol. 67 Issue 1, p23
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to explore the relation between the timing of sex education and adolescents' sexual behaviours. The specific research questions were (1) ‘Is timing of sex education related to frequency of sexual behaviour?’ (2) ‘Is timing of sex education related to age of onset of experimentation with sexual intercourse?’ The subjects in the study were 158 American adolescents (sixty-three boys and ninety-five girls) in the ninth through twelfth grades. The questionnaires included a demographics section, questions about sex education experience, sexual behaviours, and age of first sexual intercourse. The results showed two main findings: (1) earlier learning about some individual topics was correlated with more frequent occurrence of certain sexual behaviours, which are presented in detail; (2) however, earlier learning about a variety of sexual topics was not correlated with earlier onset of sexual intercourse, indicating that earlier school sex education can be beneficial. This suggests that schools should not only concentrate on the timing of sexual education but also on what is taught in such classes. The implications for the interpretation of the research and consideration of future research are discussed.
ACCESSION #
6772968

 

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