Sex education and sexuality

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Koepsel, Erica R.
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The sexuality of adolescents is constantly changing, with the risks continuing to change as well. According to the Center for Disease Control (2009) almost half of all high school students are sexually active. With statistics showing four in ten sexually active girls become pregnant before 20 and one in four sexually active teens will contract an STD every year. For this reason, it is important to ensure we have properly addressed issues surrounding safe sex and sexuality so adolescents are prepared. When questioned students thought important topics to cover included STDs, birth control methods, safety, puberty, reproduction, sexual assault, and decision making (Beyers, et. al., 2003). Parents also found it important for adolescents to receive education on the topics (Asmussen, 1992), and several studies emphasized the importance of parents involvement in that education (Rosenthal & Feldman, 1999). We do not know how these forms of sex education benefit or harm the adolescents later in life. This study will investigate the effects of different types of sex education and the development of individuals. The independent variable being measured is the type of sex education received. The dependent variables include sexual activity, comfort with sexual topics, and sexual knowledge. I believe those who received a comprehensive education in high school will be more knowledgeable, less sexually active, and more comfortable with sexual topics.
Sexual History Birth Control Sexual Pleasure Condom Use Masturbation Sexual Advice Sexual Fantasies Viewing Pornography Putting on a Condom Friends of the .125 .187 .124 .268* .269* 0.202 0.112 0.194 N/A Friends of the Opposite Sex .121 0.261* .300** .260* .358** 0.184 0.173 .235* N/A Parents .051 .044 .053 .144 .052 0.002 0.095 0.102 N/A Doctor .113 .152 .188 .216 .108 0.003 N/A N/A N/A Partner .341** .178 .396** .328** .385** .345** .320** .404** .304* Pearson Correlation between Sexual History Scores and Comfort Discussing Sexual Topics Mean 15.7 Median 16.0 Mode 17.0 Range 11 to 22 Age of First Sexual Experience Effect of High School Sexual Education on Sexuality and Sexual Development Erica Koepsel Washburn University Introduction Basic Information Almost half (46%) of high school students have had sex by the time they graduate and only 34% of those sexually active did not use a condom during birth control (Center for Disease Control, 2009). A couple having sex without birth control has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within the year. In a group of 71 college students, only one who was interviewed felt comfortable discussing sexual health and the prevention of STIs in an open way with their partner (Downing-Matibag & Geisinger, 2009). Comprehensive Sex Education A form of sex education that focuses on preventing pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) by focusing on ways to use birth control and signs, symptoms, and transmission of STIs while encouraging development of a sexual identity. Abstinence Only Sex Education A form of sex education that focuses on refraining from sexual activity prior to marriage and the consequences of early involvement. Research Question - Does the sexual health education a person receives have an effect on the development aspects of an adolescents sexuality? Sexual Behavior Those who have had a comprehensive sexual health education will be more responsible in their sexual behavior. The sexual history score will show less sexual interaction Sexual Knowledge Those who have had a comprehensive sexual health education will have a better knowledge of sexual health topics. A higher overall score on the Sexual Knowledge Test. Sexual Comfort Those who have had a comprehensive sexual health education will be more comfortable discussing sexual health topics with various populations. The comfort level of discussing topics will increase for same sex friends, opposite sex friends, partners, parents, and doctors. Results Discussion Method Online Survey Participants (n=) Midwestern college students 26 male, 62 female Age: M = 21.31 years (18-55 years) 73.7% Caucasian, 9.1% Hispanic, 3.4% African American, 3. 4% Asian American, 1.1% Other, 10.2% Unknown 25% Abstinence Only Education; 58% Comprehensive Sex Education; 8% No Sex Education; 1.1% Unknown. Measures Online Survey Sexual Activity History (Rouse-Pattison Sexual Behavior Survey, 2004) 10-point Likert scale of past sexual activity Sex Education History Sexual Knowledge Multiple Choice Test “Which of the following is not a high risk body fluid…” Sexual Comfort Inventory Likert scale assessing comfort discussing sexual topics with certain populations (Story, 1979) “How would you feel discussing your sexual history with… friends of the same sex, friends of the opposite sex, your parents, your doctor, your partner.“ Sexual Behavior Sexual behavior scores on overall participation of sexual activities were compared between programs. From the data is appears as though those with Abstinence only education were more likely to engage in sexual behavior than those from Comprehensive programs. However, there were no significant interactions between sexual history and the type of sex education received. F = .213, p = .809. Sexual Knowledge The overall sexual knowledge test had a mean score of 54% which would obviously be a failing grade. Abstinence only programs scored less that the average and Comprehensive programs with a 50%. There was no significant interaction between sexual knowledge and the type of sex education received, F = 1.922, p = .153. Sexual Comfort There was no significant interaction between comfort discussing sexual topics and the type of sex education received. Cross Correlations - Sexual Knowledge X Comfort There was a positive significant correlation between knowledge and comfort with friends in three categories. As the scores on the knowledge test rose, so did the comfort level discussing Sexual History, Birth Control, and Sexual Advice with friends of the same sex, suggesting better knowledge helps build this relationships or perhaps these relationships build better knowledge, as most of the questions were in regards to Birth Control. There was also a significant negative correlation between Sexual Fantasy and Viewing Pornography with parents so as scores increased the likelihood of an individual discussing this with parents decreased. Cross Correlations - Sexual History X Comfort This correlation showed a significant positive interaction between sexual history and comfort. So, as the sexual behavior score increase, so did the comfort discussing almost all topics with a partner, and most topics with friends of the same and opposite sex. This is interesting because people with more sexual experiences are more comfortable discussing sexual topics but not always with the right population. Scores on the sexual knowledge tests were terrible for this peer group, but rather than seeking advice from each other, they seek it from one another. Higher participation from students from Abstinence Only program. Concentrated age range (ex. 18-24 year olds) Longitudinal Study (ex. 8th grade, 11th grade, College) Future Experiments Type of Sex Education Program Recieved 25.0 65.9 9.1 0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 70.0 Abstinence Only Education Comprehensive Education No Education Sex Education Program Number of Students (in percent) Sexual History Birth Control Sexual Advice Sexual Fantasies Viewing Pornography Friends of the .252* .252* .224* .058 -.126 Friends of the Opposite Sex .044 .129 .196 -.114 -.072 Parents .057 -.007 -.103 _.251* _.337* Doctor .109 .083 -.062 -.033 .104 Partner .078 .079 .127 -.007 .058 Pearson Correlation between Sexual Knowledge Scores and Comfort Discussing Sexual Topics *Significance at a .05 level ** Significance at a .01 level Influential Sex Education Providers 34% 26% 19% 11% 10% Family School Friends Media None/Other Mean Scores on a Sexual Knowledge Test by Education Type 49.77 55.00 57.86 53.91 44.00 46.00 48.00 50.00 52.00 54.00 56.00 58.00 60.00 Abstinence only Comprehensive None Total Mean Education Type Score on Sexual Knowledge Test (in percent) Frequency Received w/ protection Given w/ protection Received w/o protection Given w/o protection Never 88.6 90.9 38.4 45.5 A few times a month/year 9.1 8.0 23.2 20.5 Once or more a month 0.0 0.0 25.6 20.6 Once or more a week 1.1 1.1 12.8 12.6 Frequency With Contraception Without Contraception With STI protection Without STI Protection Never 44.2 67.0 52.9 54.0 A few times a month/year 19.8 20.5 22.9 18.4 Once or more a month 9.3 8.0 8.0 13.8 Once or more a week 26.7 4.6 15.9 13.7 Oral Sex Sexual Activity History (in percents) Vaginal Intercourse Questions and Hypothesis Same Sex Same Sex