Evaluation of Sex Education Curricula: Measuring Up to the SIECUS Guidelines

By Klein, Nicole Aydt; Goodson, Patricia et al. | Journal of School Health, October 1994 | Go to article overview

Evaluation of Sex Education Curricula: Measuring Up to the SIECUS Guidelines


Klein, Nicole Aydt, Goodson, Patricia, Serrins, Debra S., Edmundson, Elizabeth, Evans, Alexandra, Journal of School Health


How effective is sexuality education in changing adolescent sexual risk-taking behaviors? For years now, the paucity of answers to this basic question has haunted sexuality and health educators, parents, school boards, program planners, and curriculum developers. And what explains such lack of adequate answers? With a few exceptions, most sexuality education curricula developed and implemented the past 20 years were not rigorously evaluated due to significant methodological difficulties.[1-7]

Major methodological problems faced by evaluators of sexuality education programs include (a) definition of evaluation variables, or "what is being measured or evaluated?," (b) lack of clearly defined program goals that could guide the definition of evaluation variables, (c) use of surrogate measures such as self-reported data, knowledge and beliefs about sexual activity, or birth rates to assess prevalence of unprotected intercourse, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases in school populations, (d) absence of theoretical evaluation frameworks, (e) poor research designs, (f) lack of adequate control groups, (g) inappropriate data analysis plans, and (h) lack of message or content evaluation. [2-4,6-8]

The issue of evaluating of sexuality education programs, however, is not restricted to problems mentioned above. If evaluation of program outcomes are rare and of dubious quality, analysis of program messages and content appear even less frequently in the scientific literature. Nevertheless, the few evaluations of message and contents have produced valuable and intriguing information. Kantor, (9) in reviewing the content of 11 abstinence-only curricula, found they contained significant gaps in information; medical inaccuracies; an exclusive focus on abstinence as the only appropriate choice for adolescents; and sexist, homophobic, and anti-choice biases. An evaluation of the Sex Respect curriculum revealed that the program is problematic for public school usage because, among other issues, it substitutes biased opinion for fact, lacks respect for cultural and economic differences, and presents only one side of controversial issues.[10]

Contents of the Teen-Aid curriculum reflect the same trend: omission of life-saving information and inclusion of inaccurate data, misleading statistics, and invalid substantiation.[11,12] An over-emphasis on abstinence that often results in omission of discussions about safer sex, failure to discuss human sexuality in a positive framework, and presentation of materials in an inadequate age-appropriate developmental manner were detected in an evaluation by Britton et al,[5] to assess state legislation, policy, curricula, and guidelines for HIV/AIDS prevention education programs for elementary and secondary school children in the U.S.

As evidenced by these few studies, revealing information about curricula can be obtained through message and content analysis. Precisely because program outcome evaluations are so scarce, information on a program's message is vital for the decision-making process of determining which curriculum to select when implementing a sexuality education course. This paper contributes to the decision-making process by presenting an evaluation of the message and content of 10 nationally known comprehensive sexuality education and HIV/AIDS prevention curricula/guidelines for grades 6-12. The basis for reviewing adequacy of these curricula and guidelines was the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education, developed by the Sex Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS).[13] These Guidelines were developed in 1990 by a Task Force comprised of 20 professionals in the fields of medicine, education, sexuality, and youth services, to provide a framework for developing curricula, textbooks, and programs as well as evaluating existing programs in human sexuality education. While the Guidelines are highly regarded by many educators and researchers, it must be noted that the Task Force members were volunteers, and therefore may not represent all health and sexuality professionals in their recommendations. …

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
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • 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

Evaluation of Sex Education Curricula: Measuring Up to the SIECUS Guidelines
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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    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

    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.