ERIC Number: ED460130
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
School-Based Sex Education: A New Millennium Update. ERIC Digest.
Parker, J. Terry
This digest addresses the need for school-based sex education (SBSE), identifying recent curricula that have made a positive difference in the lives of U.S. youth. Many sexual behaviors place U.S. youth at great risk for a multitude of negative health outcomes. Every year, approximately 3 million adolescents acquire a sexually transmitted disease, with HIV infection and AIDS the greatest threat. Currently, SBSE programs are grounded in science and psychosocial theory and have been rigorously evaluated. Specific characteristics that make them effective include: giving a clear message about sexual activity and condom/contraceptive use and continually reinforcing that message, and incorporating behavioral goals, teaching methods, and materials that are appropriate to students' age, sexual experience, and culture. The abstinence-only-until-marriage movement gained momentum with a 1996 Congressional Act allocating $250 million over 5 years to fund state abstinence education programs. Few evaluations of abstinence-only programs have occurred, and the available studies are inconclusive. The digest concludes that schools and communities must acknowledge that most youth will be sexually active before high school graduation and must respond proactively by providing students with the comprehensive sex education curricula needed to prevent detrimental outcomes. (Contains 17 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Comprehensive School Health Education, Health Promotion, Secondary Education, Sex Education, Sexuality, Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and Teacher Education, Washington, DC.