Article

Parent opinion of sexuality education in a state with mandated abstinence education: Does policy match parental preference?

Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 2.75). 12/2006; 39(5):634-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2006.04.022
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Despite public debate about the content of sexuality education in schools, state and federal policy has increasingly financed and legislated abstinence-only education over the past decade. Although public schools strive to meet the needs of parents who, as taxpayers, fund the educational system, little is known about parental desires regarding sexuality education in states with mandated abstinence education. The objective of this study was to assess parental opinion about sexuality education in public schools in North Carolina, a state with mandated abstinence education.
Computer-assisted, anonymous, cross-sectional telephone surveys were conducted among 1306 parents of North Carolina public school students in grades K-12. Parental support for sexuality education in public schools and 20 sexuality education topics was measured. We defined comprehensive sexuality education as education that includes a discussion of how to use and talk about contraception with partners.
Parents in North Carolina overwhelmingly support sexuality education in public schools (91%). Of these respondents, the majority (89%) support comprehensive sexuality education. Less than a quarter of parents oppose teaching any specific topic, including those typically viewed as more controversial, such as discussions about sexual orientation, oral sex, and anal sex. Parents' level of education was inversely related to support for specific sexuality education topics and comprehensive education, although these differences were small in magnitude. More than 90% of respondents felt that parents and public health professionals should determine sexuality education content and opposed the involvement of politicians.
Current state-mandated abstinence sexuality education does not match parental preference for comprehensive sexuality education in North Carolina public schools.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Peter Leone, Sep 01, 2015
2 Followers
 · 
284 Views
 · 
300 Downloads
  • Source
    • "In the United States, many parents have historically entrusted schools with their children's sex education. In fact, the trend appears to be increasing for parents to default to schools for this important task, as demonstrated by empirical research in the past decade as well as public opinion polls (e.g., Eisenberg, Bernat, Bearinger, & Resnick, 2008; Ito et al., 2006). The overwhelming support that parents demonstrate for sex education in school instead of at home could stem from many reasons, such as religion of the parents or parental fear that communicating about sex will adversely influence sexual behaviors (Troth & Peterson, 2000). "
    American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 04/2014
  • Source
    • "In the United States, many parents have historically entrusted schools with their children's sex education. In fact, the trend appears to be increasing for parents to default to schools for this important task, as demonstrated by empirical research in the past decade as well as public opinion polls (e.g., Eisenberg, Bernat, Bearinger, & Resnick, 2008; Ito et al., 2006). The overwhelming support that parents demonstrate for sex education in school instead of at home could stem from many reasons, such as religion of the parents or parental fear that communicating about sex will adversely influence sexual behaviors (Troth & Peterson, 2000). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 ( SRI International, 2002 ) were analyzed to identify variables that predicted whether individuals with intellectual disability (ID) received sex education in public schools across the United States. Results suggested that individuals receiving special education services without ID were only slightly more likely to receive sex education than students with mild ID (47.5% and 44.1%, respectively), but the percentage of students with moderate to profound ID that received sex education was significantly lower (16.18%). Analysis of teacher opinions and perceptions of the likelihood of the students benefiting from sex education found that most teachers indicated that students without ID or with mild ID would benefit (60% and 68%, respectively), but the percentage dropped to 25% for students with moderate to profound ID. Finally, across all students, the only significant demographic variable that predicted receipt of sex education was more expressive communication skills. Results are discussed in terms of ensuring equal access to sex education for students with ID in public schools.
    Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 04/2014; 52(2):85-97. DOI:10.1352/1934-9556-52.2.85 · 1.13 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "In 1995, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law requiring public schools to provide abstinence until marriage education ( " Teach Abstinence Until Marriage, " 1995). Despite high STI and HIV rates and research showing that most North Carolina parents wanted their children to receive information on how to prevent unintended pregnancy and HIV infection in addition to abstinence education (Ito et al., 2006), very few public schools provided a comprehensive sex education option for students (Bach, 2006). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Though African-American youth in the South are at high risk for HIV infection, abstinence until marriage education continues to be the only option in some public schools. Using community-based participatory research methods, we conducted 11 focus groups with African-American adults and youth in a rural community in North Carolina with high rates of HIV infection with marked racial disparities. Focus group discussions explored participant views on contributors to the elevated rates of HIV and resources available to reduce transmission. Participants consistently identified the public schools' sex education policies and practices as major barriers toward preventing HIV infection among youth in their community. Ideas for decreasing youth's risk of HIV included public schools providing access to health services and sex education. Policymakers, school administrators, and other stakeholders should consider the public school setting as a place to provide HIV prevention education for youth in rural areas.
    AIDS education and prevention: official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education 02/2012; 24(1):41-53. DOI:10.1521/aeap.2012.24.1.41 · 1.51 Impact Factor
Show more