As debate regarding sexuality education continues, STD, HIV, and teen pregnancy rates remain high. Garnering support is critical to ensure quality programs addressing these public health concerns. As part of a funded project to reduce adolescent sexual health issues in a large Florida county, this study assessed voter support for specific sexuality education topics. A survey was developed after reviewing existing instruments. The university’s Public Opinion Research Laboratory used random-digit-dialing to administer the survey (N=311). Most participants supported topics taught in middle school: dealing with pressure to have sex (85%), talking to parents about sex (90%), human anatomy/reproduction (91%), HIV/STDs (92%), abstinence (93%), birth control (83%), and condom use (81%). Support was even greater in high school (88%-97%) for these topics. Most participants (86%) supported teaching both abstinence and birth control/safer sex practices. Chi-square results showed significant differences in support of topics by several demographics. Results add substantial support for age-appropriate, school-based sexuality education and policy to support evidence-based abstinence-plus or comprehensive sexuality education. Documented support is important in establishing, changing, and ensuring ongoing policy. Such findings can both encourage and support administrators and teachers in offering evidence-based sexuality education programs.
Barr, Elissa M.; Moore, Michele J.; Wilson, Kristina; Parisi, Tiffany L.; and McCann, Heather M.
"Documenting Support for Ongoing and Improved Efforts in Sexuality Education,"
Florida Public Health Review: Vol. 14, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/fphr/vol14/iss1/5