Sex Education Attitudes and Outcomes among North American Women

By Williams, Monnica T.; Bonner, Laura | Adolescence, Spring 2006 | Go to article overview

Sex Education Attitudes and Outcomes among North American Women


Williams, Monnica T., Bonner, Laura, Adolescence


BACKGROUND

Unplanned pregnancy commands attention as a serious problem in the social, economic, political, and individual realms. Numerous attempts have been made to reduce the incidence of unplanned pregnancy, and birth control education has been investigated repeatedly as a key component of such efforts (Dull & Blythe, 1998; Lagana & Hayes, 1993). Programs designed to prevent unplanned pregnancy receive substantial public funding (Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, 1997, as cited in Coley and Chase-Lansdale, 1998). However, the preferred sources (Kyman, 1998) and content (Coley & Chase-Lansdale, 1998) of birth control education remain controversial.

A better understanding of the variables associated with unplanned pregnancy can help psychologists, educators, and others design and implement more effective methods for reducing the number of unplanned pregnancies. In the words of Coley and Chase-Lansdale, "A greater commitment is needed to funding scientifically rigorous evaluations" of sex education programs (1998, p. 161). Attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of specific sex education have yielded inconsistent, even contradictory, results. Some studies (Schinke, Blythe, & Gilchrist, 1981; Frost & Forest, 1995) have shown that such programs increase compliance with lower-risk behaviors. Other have found that though knowledge about contraceptive behaviors increased, the actual behaviors were not significantly affected (Haignere, Gold, & McDanel, 1999; Kirby, Korpi, Adivi, & Weissman, 1997; Viser & van Bilsen, 1994; Mitchell-DiCenso et al., 1997). Contraceptive information alone does not address the needs of individuals who prefer to significantly delay the onset of sexual activity or whose personal or moral beliefs preclude the use of artificial contraception. Nor does it address the problem of the small but significant failure rates of contraceptive techniques (Haignere, Gold, & McDanel, 1999). Our earlier work (Bonner, Terwilliger, & Kuba, 1999) indicated that respondents who had reported receiving abstinence education experienced fewer unplanned pregnancies than those who had received other forms of sex education. Opponents of abstinence-only education argue that such programs may increase reluctance to use contraception (Lagana & Hayes, 1993, p. 355), which could lead to increased pregnancies among those who do choose to become sexually active.

The appropriate source or sources of birth control education have also been debated. Possible sources for formal presentation include parents, schools, clinics, and doctors, while many also seek out information from other sources, including peers, books, and more recently, the Internet (Pistella & Bonati, 1998; Roffman, Shannon, & Dwyer, 1997). King and Lorusso (1997) found that adolescents may not be satisfied with the information provided by parents, even though the parents perceived their efforts at home-based education as satisfactory. Given the potential for inadequate efforts from a single source, it seems that education from multiple sources is preferable.

This study was intended to further examine the findings of our earlier work, that sex education comprised in large part of abstinence information would be more effective than education without such information. The hypotheses that receiving sex education from school and from parents would be effective in reducing unplanned pregnancy were also tested.

METHOD

Participants

Participants were 1,400 North American women, with an average age of 19.5 (SD = 5.87). The majority of respondents (approximately 900) were under age 20. Approximately 70% indicated having a Christian affiliation. The average number of unplanned pregnancies was 0.498. The majority of participants had never experienced an unplanned pregnancy (N = 1041, 74.4%), and about a quarter had experienced one or more (N = 346, 24.7%). Approximately 13% reported one or more abortions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Sex Education Attitudes and Outcomes among North American Women
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.