Adolescent appraisals and opinions concerning their sex education in selected institutions Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zk51vk57r

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  • The purposes of this study were: to collect information relative to the content of the sex education information adolescents have received from selected sources, to ascertain their appraisal of the value of this information and to test hypotheses concerning communication and dissemination of information on sexual topics between adults and adolescents of both sexes. Data were collected by administering a questionnaire to a non-random sample of 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade YMCA youth. Specifically, the sample consisted of 357 adolescents (166 males, 191 females) who were living with both parents in the home, were receiving passing grades in school, had a church affiliation and belonged to at least one youth organization. These subjects were asked to compare their experiences within these four institutions (home, school, church and youth organization) with respect to the amount of sex information received and the opportunities available for serious discussion with adults concerning sexual matters. An operational definition of sex education was achieved by noting 18 specific topics which youth indicated as basic components of sex education. Chi-square analyses were used to test hypotheses concerning the dissemination of sex information on the various topics as well as the reaction of the adolescents to the information. The findings indicated that the topics on which youth want more information are those on which they have had the least opportunity for discussion with adults in the past. The onset of puberty was found to be significantly related to the acceptability of the sources of information. Males and females indicated distinctly different sources of information and both sexes reported that they desired information at ages earlier than they had received it. The adolescents ranked the institutions according to their effectiveness in providing sex education in the following order: home, school, youth organizations and church. Adolescents of both sexes disagreed with the view that providing complete sex information to teenagers will encourage them to experiment with sexual behavior and, in addition, they felt that acquiring adequate sex information is closely related to their feelings of being a mature, independent person. In general, these youth indicated that parents with higher educational backgrounds were not perceived as better sex educators than were parents having lower educational backgrounds. The status of sex education in the United States was described and the recent trends and developments in sex education in home, school, church and youth organizations was outlined. An evaluation of adolescent opinions expressed in various group discussions and state policy statements on sex education are included as an appendix.
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