ERIC Number: ED269673
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Reference Count: 0
Does Sexuality Education Make a Difference?
Newcomer, Susan F.
The pros and cons of sexuality education are discussed in this report from Planned Parenthood. Research on the effectiveness of sexuality education has focused primarily on college students, having little relevance for teenage sexuality education. The Kirby report, two studies of the effects of sexuality education on teenagers' attitudes, knowledge, and behavior, found pre- and post-tests were the same for attitude and behavior inventories. Researchers had problems collecting data on teenage pregnancy, abortion, and birth rates which could be linked to the population in the programs. Problems of causal connection between programs and outcomes also arose. Sexuality education did not increase the likelihood that teenagers would have sexual intercourse or that their values would change as a result of the program. The Kirby report showed that sexuality education did not stop teenagers from having intercourse or having babies, and it concluded that sexuality education needs to be long-term and pervasive to have a positive impact. Community commitment is needed for effective programs. Unless teenagers see the value of postponing childbearing, sexuality education may do little to drop rates of teenage pregnancy. Planned Parenthood, as a provider of quality sexuality education, needs to work with other concerned community groups in complementary activities. Sexuality education, continued and improved access to contraception, and safe legal abortion are three parts of the answer to prevent children from having children. Fifteen references conclude the report. (ABL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., New York, NY.