A possible explanation for this trend may be the expansion of mandatory sex education in the US which makes it increasingly difficult to find comparison groups that are relatively unexposed to sex education. You can't opt your children in or out of math. Consequences of sex education on teen and young adult behaviors and outcomes. Significance of each regression coefficient was tested using a z-test where the standard errors in the output of SPSS were adjusted by a factor of the square root of the mean square error for the regression model Hedges and Olkin, Moderator analysis could only be pursued partially because of limited information in primary research studies. Discussion This review synthesized the findings from controlled sex education interventions reporting on abstinent behavior. Testing for homogeneity required the calculation of a homogeneity statistic, Q.
Other federal funding priorities have moved positively toward more medically accurate and evidence-based programs, including teen pregnancy prevention programs [ 1 , 3 , 12 ]. National Center for Health Statistics; The homogeneity of effect sizes was examined to determine whether the studies shared a common effect size. In the first review Frost and Forrest, , the authors selected only five rigorously evaluated sex education programs and estimated their impact on delaying sexual initiation. Published studies which were known or suspected to have employed the same database were only included once. The authors of primary research did not appear to control for nor report on the potentially confounding influence of numerous variables that have been indicated in the literature as influencing sexual decision making or being associated with the initiation of sexual activity in adolescence such as academic performance, career orientation, religious affiliation, romantic involvement, number of friends who are currently having sex, peer norms about sexual activity and drinking habits, among others Herold and Goodwin, ; Christopher and Cate, ; Billy and Udry, ; Roche, ; Coker et al. Limited in-class time and resources leave schools to prioritize sex education in competition with academic subjects and other important health topics such as substance use, bullying, and suicide [ 4 , 13 , 14 ]. In terms of the communication of research findings, the richness of a meta-analytic approach will always be limited by the quality of the primary research. At the state level, individual states, districts, and school boards determine implementation of federal policies and funds. These coincident trends suggest that adolescents are receiving information about birth control and condoms elsewhere. The association between gender and effect sizes—which appeared significant both in the univariate and multivariable analyses—should be explored to understand why females seem to be more receptive to the abstinence messages of sex education interventions. Sex education is important. Significance of each regression coefficient was tested using a z-test where the standard errors in the output of SPSS were adjusted by a factor of the square root of the mean square error for the regression model Hedges and Olkin, Stormy Daniels, an adult star, at a local restaurant in downtown New Orleans. Paradoxically, the declines in formal sex education from to have coincided with sizeable declines in adolescent birth rates and improved rates of contraceptive method use in the United States from to [ 20 , 21 ]. Consequences of sex education on teen and young adult behaviors and outcomes. Another possible line of explanation refers to changes in cultural mores regarding sexuality that may have occurred in the past decades—characterized by an increasing acceptance of premarital sexual intercourse, a proliferation of sexualized messages from the media and increasing opportunities for sexual contact in adolescence—which may be eroding the attainment of the goal of abstinence sought by educational interventions. The impact of lengthening currently existing programs should be evaluated in future studies. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of disease prevention and health promotion. The Future of Sex Education Given the insufficient state of sex education in the United States in , existing gaps are opportunities for more ambitious, forward-thinking strategies that cross-cut levels to translate an expanded evidence base into best practices and policies. The goals were to: For instance, it is possible that the studies that reported success in achieving parental involvement may have been dealing with a larger percentage of intact families or with parents that espoused conservative sexual values. Since most of the studies did not report any effect size, it had to be estimated based on the significance level and inferential statistics with formulae provided by Rosenthal Rosenthal, and Holmes Holmes; Perspect Sex Reprod Health. Among the set of categorical predictors studied, parental participation in the program, virginity status of the sample and scope of the implementation were statistically significant. As adolescents turn increasingly to the Internet for their sex education, perhaps school-based settings can better serve other unmet needs, such as for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care, including the full range of contraceptive methods and STI testing and treatment services.
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