The status of family life/sex education in the public high schools of Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3t945v68x

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  • The major purpose of this study was to determine the current status of family life/sex education programs in the public high schools of Oregon. A mail questionnaire was submitted to all health teachers in all the high schools in Oregon. The questionniare was mailed twice to 447 health teachers in Oregon. The sample involved 192 high schools and 139 school districts. The mailing procedure included a stamped self-addressed return envelope. The cover letter which accompanied the questionnaire explained the purpose of the study and assured anonymity to the respondents. The questionnaire replies concerning the family life/sex education programs in the Oregon High Schools were analyzed according to questionnaire items such as the: age of teacher, size of participating school, and geographic areas where the program was found, etc. The total questionnaire responses by item, rankings and percentage comparisons were made and these were presented in tabular form. Collective responses were analyzed and correlated whenever significant to yield illuminating facts, figures, and relationships. Lastly, the findings are discussed in reference to expert opinion, prevailing practice, and accepted standards. Three hundred thirty five or 74.9 percent of the potential respondents returned the completed questionnaires. The overall results were excellent, since this was a voluntary survey conducted during great controversy about family life/sex education programs. Some of the findings of this study are summarized in the following paragraphs. The most popular grade for teaching family life/sex education was the tenth grade. A majority of the correlated family life/sex education courses were short and fragmentary in content. Likewise, a majority of 76.3 percent of the study participants indicated that family life/sex education was included in one or more curriculum areas, but not as a separate course. Health education was ranked number one by study participants as the most frequent discipline which included the subject family life/sex education in the State of Oregon. The five most frequently taught topics in rank order were: 1) reproduction (female's role); 2) dating; 3) reproduction (male's role); 4) infection; and 5) interpersonal relationships. Twenty-six percent of the respondents disclosed that all their students were required to take their family life/sex education. There were no community objections to the nonrequired courses. The most popular pattern for attendance for the nonrequired programs was as an elective subject. Family life/sex education teachers most frequently characterized their programs as "mostly development of attitudes." Also, the most frequently checked course, by respondents was those 3-4 weeks in length. Less than a majority or 39.1 percent, of the respondents indicated they offered a family life/sex education program, which was co-educational. The majority of respondents had used resource personnel in their programs. The top three ranked individuals by frequency of use as resource personnel were: 1) doctors, 2) nurses, and 3) ministers. The three most interested individuals responsible for initiating a family life/sex education program at the high school level in rank order by frequency were: 1) teacher, 2) administrator and 3) student.
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