Está en la página 1de 25


The Sex Talk: What Parents are Saying to their

Children about Sex
Jessica Hausauer
The attitudes an individual holds toward a particular topic are
meaningful in that those attitudes are used to construct ones social
reality. Attitudes about sex are often centered around ones political
and personal belief systems, and when it comes to teaching young
people about sex, parents ideally hold the prominent position of
influence in adolescents lives. Debate rages over whether sex
education should be an all encompassing component of U.S. public
education and if discussed, which topics are appropriate for the
classroom. While most parents support Comprehensive Sex Education,
there are many who believe sexual matters are to be discussed at the
sole discretion of the parent. With the focus of debate centering on
whether or not sex education is best left to the parents, it is important
to examine what exactly parents are teaching their children. Upon a
review of the literature I found that the research regarding parents and
childrens conversations about sex was lacking. Many of the studies
were outdated or used questionable research methods. The purpose of
this research project is to examine the experience of parent to child
communication about sex.

Literature Review
The idea that knowledge has a direct impact on behavior faces a
serious challenge when presented in the context of sex education.
Much debate has centered on the efficacy of sex education programs
in the U.S. as teen pregnancy, abortion, and STD rates continue to soar
in spite of efforts to curb these negative trends. This debate is fueled
by a societal shift in expectation relative to the purpose of sex
education. Before the AIDS crisis and skyrocketing pregnancy rates of
the 1980s, sex educations main goal was to facilitate open and
honest discussion with adolescents regarding their sexual health.
Today, these programs are expected to change behaviors, which may
not be a reasonable goal. Further conflict surrounds the disparity
between belief and practice in relation to the content of sex education
programs. Current trends point to increased funding for abstinenceonly programs in spite of research that shows a majority of parents and
teachers support comprehensive sex education. As current research
examines these conflicts and contradictions, one may determine that
the goals and methods of sex education need to be reassessed.
School Based Sex Education
School based sex education programs are important to examine
as AIDS, teen pregnancy, and the proliferation of STDs remains a huge
problem among our nations young people. Youth need to be given

information that is accurate and relative to the state of our society in

to lead healthy lives. Unfortunately,

Comprehensive Sex

Education programs in the United States face a multitude of

challenges. One of these challenges is determining the content of sex
education in the midst of a pointed campaign by abstinence-only
proponents. Further challenges lie in determining the appropriate age
for the advent of sex education, and providing quality instruction in
sexual health matters.
Several studies have examined the relationship between what
parents and educators want their children to learn and what is actually
being taught in our nations schools. Evaluations of program content
highlight the fact that a vast majority of parents and educators want
their children to learn about condoms and contraception (Wilson 2000,
Darroch 2003, Donovan 1998). However, abstinence-only programs are
generally prohibited from speaking of such topics, or they only mention
them in terms of failure rates (Darroch 2003). This lack of positive
discussion about contraception prompts some analysts to argue that
teens will be less likely to use condoms when they do become sexually
active (Jemmott 1998, Darroch 2003). In schools where more
comprehensive programs are in place, Darroch (2003) and Donovan
(1998) find that educators often shy away from controversial topics
such as birth control, condoms, abortion, and homosexuality. Wilson

(2000), Donovan (1998), and Mahler (1996) explain that teachers and
administrators perceive pressure from the public to stick to an
abstinence-only agenda and do so in order to avoid controversy. While,
the research suggests that a majority of parents and educators want
their children to learn about condoms and contraception, abstinenceonly programs appear to be out of touch with the desires of parents
and therefore, more schools should be adapting a comprehensive
approach to sex education.
While most parents and educators support sex education for high
school students, some debate exists over the appropriateness of
introducing information about sex to children in grade school. While
the majority isnt quite as strong, a significant number of sexual health
educators believe that key issues regarding sexuality should be taught
in fifth and sixth grade (Darroch 2000, Kirby 1991). Some key issues
educators support include puberty, HIV transmission, abstinence,
resisting peer pressure, teen parenthood, dating and nonsexual
affection (Darroch 2000: 214). The results of this research suggests
that parents and teachers recognize the importance of sexual health
information as a tool in adolescent development, which should be
taken into consideration when determining the proper age for
orientation to sex education.
Quality of Instruction

When analyzing sex education programs, quality of instruction
constitutes an important factor in contributing to the effectiveness of
the program. Patricia Donovans (1998) evaluation of the issues and
challenges faced by school-based sex education programs reports that
many sex educators dont receive adequate training in the field of
human sexuality. Donovan (1998) points out that many school districts
have no certification requirements for sexual health educators and
acknowledges that there is little incentive and little opportunity for
teachers to receive adequate training in this area. According to
researchers, this lack of attention to the quality of sex educators
results in inaccurate and insufficient procurement of material, as
educators are more likely to stick to basic teaching methods, such as
lecturing, for fear of sparking controversial discussion or practices
(Donovan 1998, Mahler 1996, United States 2004).







government report finds that many of these programs contain false,

misleading, or distorted information about reproductive health (United
States 2004: 8). Donovan (1998) and Darroch (2003) support these
findings, while highlighting the use of scare tactics, also common
among abstinence-only curricula. Currently, the federal government
does not review or approve abstinence-only programs before granting
them funds (United States 2004), which illuminates the fact that more
needs to be done to secure the accuracy and quality of sex education

programs. Systematic evaluations of programs receiving federal funds
may provide one option for this problem.
The Effectiveness of Sex Education
Much research has been done on the effectiveness of both
abstinence-only and comprehensive sex education programs. While
various studies have been able to illustrate positive changes in
behavior in relation to comprehensive sex education, no studies have
been able to establish a positive impact in relation to abstinence-only
education (Hauser 2004). However, even as positive results can be
drawn from comprehensive sex education programs, national trends in
adolescent sexual behavior tend to give the impression that sex
education has failed to impact our nations youth. When considering
the results of impact on behavior due to education, its important to
keep in mind the limitations of such correlation.
Comprehensive Sex Education








education is that talking about sex promotes sexual activity among

young people (Berne 1995). However, according to Kim (1982), Green
(1989) and Barth ((1991), these claims have been unfounded. In recent









comprehensive sex education programs (Berne 1995). In fact in many

cases, an increase in condom use has been linked to comprehensive
sex education, as the use of condoms has steadily increased over the

past decade ( Brener 2002, Grunbaum 2004). Unfortunately, even as
positive results can be drawn from comprehensive sex education,
overall trends in statistics regarding increases in STDs and continued
prevalence of unplanned pregnancies suggests that education alone
isnt enough to curb the risky sexual practices of this nations youth.
Americans may still need to refocus their goals on alternative methods
for influencing adolescent behavior.
Abstinence-Only Education
While comprehensive sex education programs have had some
success in positively affecting behavior, abstinence-only programs
have not proven themselves effective in influencing behavior (Barth
1991, Berne 2000, Darroch 2003, Kim 1982). In fact, according to









abstinence-only programs actually showed negative responses in

behavior. As abstinence-only education programs either dont mention
condoms at all, or only speak of them in terms of failure rates, some
argue that students take a negative view of protection and forgo its
use altogether (Jemmott 1998, Darroch 2003, Hauser 2004).
According to Bernes (2000) analysis of studies evaluating the
impact of three widely used abstinence-only programs, little evidence
existed to substantiate claims that promoting abstinence effectively
delayed onset of sexual intercourse. Dailard (2003), Darroch (2003),
and Barth (1991) all report that approximately 50 percent of

adolescents have engaged in sexual intercourse by the age seventeen,
and according to Hauser (2004), 80 percent of teens plan to be
sexually active by the age of twenty. What one may conclude from
such findings is that abstinence-only education is out of touch with the
realities of adolescent sexuality, today. Being unable to report any
positive results brought about by abstinence-only education leads one
to conclude that new strategies must be employed in order to combat
the risks of adolescent sexual activity.
Social Factors Related to Sexual Behavior in Adolescents
In comparison to other developed countries, Darroch (2001)
reports that the onset and frequency of adolescent sexual activity in
the United States is relatively equal to that of other industrialized
nations however, teenage pregnancy, abortion, and STD rates are
significantly higher in the United States. This suggests that societal
factors play a role in the sexual behaviors of adolescents. As reported
by Darroch (2001), societal attitudes toward sexuality appear to be a
bit more relaxed in Europe, and adults appear to be much more
accepting of teenage sexuality. However, attitudes toward teenage
pregnancy are much more negative in Europe than in the United
States, which may account for lower pregnancy rates (Darroch 2001).
Research Limitations
The research observed in this analysis provides one with a solid








Abstinence-Only education. However, some limitations to this body of
work must be considered. As the majority of research methods
employed by sex education studies are surveys, most of the results
represent only short term findings. Sex education research would thus,
benefit from an increase in longitudinal study. In addition, location of
study participation has a significant effect on research outcomes as
attitudes towards sex education tend to vary by region. Furthermore,
the majority of surveys were executed within a school setting, which
eliminates the responses of at risk-youth and high school dropouts.
Finally, gaining access to adolescents remains a problem as it is very
difficult to gain permission to talk to adolescents about sexual
behaviors within the context of a school setting.
Future Research
While vast amounts of research have been dedicated to
determining the effectiveness of sex education programs, less research
has been dedicated to evaluating what students actually know. In
measuring the effectiveness of programs, researchers are mainly







However, little is being gained in terms of determining what

information adolescents are actually applying to their lives. For the
purpose of comparison, it may be helpful to track the level of
knowledge from the onset of sex education in adolescence, through
college, and finally parenthood. This type of research would provide

important insight into what information students, as well as parents are
lacking, which may lead to needed reassessment of current sex
education practices.
As current research suggests, Comprehensive Sex Education
faces many challenges in the form of increased funding for AbstinenceOnly Education and perceived pressures felt by school administrations
in maintaining conservative approaches to sex education.


parents and educators believe that a comprehensive approach to sex is

necessary to provide youth with the knowledge they need to manage
their sexual health, and research has shown the benefits of such
knowledge with increased condom use and positive impacts on at-risk
behaviors. While current debates center on what should be taught in
our nations schools, a thorough review of the literature suggests the
benefits of Comprehensive Sex Education.

Data Sources and Methods

My data for this research project was generated from seven, one
hour long interviews with parents. My overall methodology would be
considered hermeneutical and dialectical.

I chose to conduct

interviews rather than using a survey method because I felt I would

gain a better understanding of what exactly parents are saying to their
children about sex because their responses wouldnt be limited to a
certain set of answers. Also, by engaging parents in a conversation
about sex, it was easier to evaluate the different social factors that

influenced parent/child communication about sex. I limited my sample
to non-relatives, as interviews with family members may have provided
a more biased result. I gathered interviews according to a snowball
method that stemmed from professors at a small liberal arts college in
the Midwest. The sample, overall, was fairly homogeneous being
comprised of six females and one male. Similarly, six participants were
Caucasian and one participant was African American. The majority of
participants had earned Doctoral degrees and were working as
Professors, while one participant was on her third year of Bachelors
work and the final participant had worked at the University as a staff
person for over 20 years.
From this data pool, one can begin to foster a number of
assumptions. All of the participants were in some way associated with
the University, which for some might indicate a liberal bias. In addition,
the samples homogeneity doesnt allow room for generalizations
based on gender, race, or class. The observations alluded to in the
discussion of this research simply focus on the fact that all of the
participants were parents and have at some point engaged their child
in a conversation about sex. For the purpose of further research it
would be ideal to gather a larger sample size with a more diverse










conversations were roughly guided by a list of fifteen questions that

focused on illuminating parental attitudes toward sex, parents level of
comfort discussing sex with their children, and what sexual topics
parents specifically sought to address. As a means towards future
research, it would be beneficial to triangulate the data through a
survey or perhaps, through a focus group. In addition, many of the
parents interviewed referenced particular materials that they used as
resources to both educating themselves and their children about sex. It
would be beneficial to conduct a content analysis of these materials as

Sex education has remained a source of constant debate over












administration has favored a conservative approach to addressing the

issue of adolescent sexuality, as they have dramatically increased
funding for abstinence-only education and have limited funding more
progressive organizations. While the government currently is placing
an emphasis on teaching sexuality in the home, one must wonder if
parents are able to adequately complete the task. In asking parents
about the specific facts they are presenting to their children, one may
find gaps in adolescent knowledge about sexuality. Conversely, one
may find that parents are thoroughly engaging their children in
discussions about sex. I did not interview the children of the parents

simply because that would have gone beyond the scope of this project.
However, interviewing the children would provide a triangulation
method that may be pursued in future research.

By limiting my research subjects to adults only, I was able to
avoid many ethical concerns. As previously mentioned, I did not
interview family members in an attempt to avoid biased knowledge
interfering with my observations. The risks associated with the study
were minimal. For some, talking about sex may be embarrassing or
difficult. However, this study presented no more opportunities for
embarrassment or discomfort than can be encountered in daily life. If
at any time participants felt uncomfortable, they had the option of
ending the interview or skipping a particular question. Additionally,
anonymity and confidentiality was ensured. No names were used in
any resulting manuscripts, and no other information regarding personal
identity was reported in the study.

Sex is a topic that in the United States comes cloaked in a shroud
of ambivalence. On the one hand, sex is everywhere. Americans are









disseminated primarily through television, magazines, advertising, and

popular music. In the public sphere, sex represents a market strategy,
a lifestyle, and for some, a fantasy. Adults and children are forced to

filter their own sexuality through a vast medium of influence that
stretches far beyond the safe walls and comfort of ones own home. Its
no surprise then that at the same time sex is seeping deeper and
deeper into our culture, many would hold deep reservations about the










development of our nations children. For the most part, parents

recognize the importance of discussing sex and sexuality with their
children. For many parents, teaching their children about sex is one of
the most important discussions they can have. The importance of the
discussion lies in the fact that the way Americans think about sex and
sexuality has much more to do with personal values, morals, and
politics than it has to do with simply knowing which body parts do what
and how the baby got into mommys tummy. Sex is inherently linked to
our personal views on marriage, gender, and the roles that women and
men should play in society. When talking to parents, it becomes clear
that its these complexities that make parent to child communication
about sex so difficult.
Negotiating Realities and Setting Standards
It would be easy to boil the debate over sex education down to
the sexual conservatives who recognize only married, heterosexual sex
as the acceptable standard for human activity and the sexual liberals
who believe that more than one type of sexual behavior is acceptable
as long as such behaviors are both consensual and enjoyed by both

parties. However, when it comes to the topic of sex education the
attitudes of parents present a more complicated picture in which moral
systems are negotiated between realities of adolescent sexual
behavior and what parents hope they can contribute to their childs
sexual development. This point can be best demonstrated by
examining the basic standards of sexual activity that parents set forth
for children.
Negotiating Realities and Setting Standards
While abstinence-only sex education dictates that only sex within
the confines of marriage is acceptable, most parents seem to
acknowledge a reality in which teenagers are likely to experiment and
engage in sexual behaviors long before they get married. Holding to
the ideal of abstinence until marriage is no longer practical as one
participant states, I think the abstinence thing is foolish. I mean I think
thats just burying their head in the sand. What the parents in this
study have come to realize is that there has been a cultural shift in








highlighted nicely by one of the participants as he explains:

When you achieve puberty your hormones start telling you that you should start
having sexual behavior, but adolescence isnt over until at least from our Western
culture until you are out there and taking care of yourself. But in our culture because
we now require so much schooling, what has happened over the years is that puberty
and adulthood are getting further and further apart. Here you have an individual
whose body is telling them they are ready for sex but whose culture is telling them no
you are still a child. You are not mature. You are not ready. You cant take care of
yourself, and you cant take care of a family, so you should abstain. But that is part of
the reason why it doesnt work because you have some individuals who are just lock
stead into teaching abstinence, and thats nice to teach, but thats not always going
to work because individuals are culturing what their biological drives are telling them
to do, so you have to do more than just telling them to abstain.


When marriage is no longer the objective standard for sexual

activity then parents must look to other measures to determine when it
is appropriate for their children to begin having sex. For some this
means looking toward the individual maturity level of the child. One
woman describes a level of maturity in which the child exhibits, the
ability to take precautions and accept the consequences as a positive
indication that the child is ready for sex. Kristen Luker, in When Sex
Goes to School echoes this concept as she explains that, Before,
young people were prepared to have sex when they were married or
possibly engaged. Now, they are ready when they are prepared to
manage risks actively on their own behalf and that of their partners
(Luker 2006:86). When it comes to the specifics about the risks
associated with sex and how to manage them, all of the parents
strongly agreed that the schools should take an active role in providing
the facts about sex. In this way parents tend to view school based sex
education as supplementary to the values based messages parents
would like to focus on at home. Realistically, most parents dont have
the time or energy to consistently be researching and updating their
wealth of sexual knowledge. When the schools do a good job of
teaching about sex, parents can focus on discussing emotions and
values. As one woman explained,
I think its real important that the schools talk about all the different options for birth
control and give some information for kids about how to access birth control
including, you know, Planned Parenthood, hot lines and things like that. I think thats
real important so that they have information that might be different, so that I dont

have to go into all that depth and also so that if they do have questions and dont
feel comfortable coming to me that they have somebody else they can talk to.

For some parents, school based sex education is welcomed as a

way to take the pressure off. This relief is beneficial because no
matter how open or comfortable parents believe they can be when it
comes to sex, most people have their own hang ups when it comes to
this topic. Each parent I interviewed had some aspect of sex that they
either displayed discomfort in talking about with their children or failed
to address because it didnt come up in conversation. For example, one
woman felt oral sex was too explicit to be discussed, while for another
condoms and specifically explaining how to use them was too risqu.
Interestingly, however, none of the parents objected to these topics
being discussed in school. In fact, when it comes to school based sex
education the majority of parents supported expanding programs to
encompass even broader aspects of sexuality such as homosexuality
and pornography.
New Challenges and the Call for Expansion
While it may not be surprising that all of the parents agreed that
children need factual information about sexual health and methods of
protection, it may be interesting to note that all of the parents agreed
that issues such as homosexuality, pornography, sexual assault, and
domestic violence should hold a place not only within discussions at
home, but also in the schools. Each of these topics presents an

interesting challenge for families and educators because they are so
relevant to our times and because they often hit so close to home.
As the topic of homosexuality continues to be politicized and let
out of the closet so to speak, most parents recognize the importance of
addressing this issue in terms of acceptance and diversity. When asked
how one might incorporate a discussion about homosexuality in a sex
education class one woman answered with:
I guess if I were teaching a class like that to adolescents I might invite people in who
are willing to talk about their own experiences. Especially younger people who may
be homosexual and are willing to talk to other kids. I might try to do that education
through statistics on a variety of types of relationships that people use in media
representations or whatever to encourage knowledge and the realization that outside
of this community there is a huge variety of people with respect to a lot of things
including sexuality.

Often the issue of homosexuality comes up at home because many

people know someone who is homosexual, which provides the
opportunity for the topic to be addressed. When asked whether they
had discussed homosexuality with their children one participant
Yeah. I think if you just talk about it as part of sexuality in terms of feelings and
choices. It came up pretty directly with my daughter in terms of she had a friend who
was really struggling with sexuality issues and you know, we have friends who are
homosexual and the kids have always known. Weve taken family vacations with a
lesbian couple, so I think that they see it as something that is not necessarily taboo.

Another relatively new challenge facing parents that also hits

close to home is the topic of pornography. Several parents, especially
those with sons, spoke to the fact that in an age of increasing
technology and access to sexually explicit material, addressing the
topic of pornography is necessary because children are viewing it, and

parents want to be sure that they understand the messages implicit in
such images. One woman explained her experience in dealing with her
son and pornography:
We have really struggled with it. I dont know exactly what to do because I know my
son has been caught on occasion looking at stuff on the internet and I dont know if
its better to close that off and say no therefore, making it more desirable or if its just
curiosity. Im not sure what to do about that so we keep him more active doing other
things. The discourse with boys is so interesting because there are all these labels for
women and judging women and things like that so weve had to really talk about it,
and its been funny because his dad, bless his heart, my husband is really having to
think about the way he thinks about things and you know objectifying and all that,
too because he doesnt want to pass those bad images on to his son, so its kind of
an open discourse at our house right now and thats something were working

The topic of pornography is interesting because it brings attention to

an issue that often gets overlooked within the general contexts of sex
education, and it also highlights the gendered differences that present
themselves when examining parent to child communications about
Gendered Messages
As pornography is an issue that would likely manifest itself in
discussions with teenage boys, conversations with teenage girls tend
to follow along the lines of protection. When it comes to daughters,
parents in this study at least, seemed to focus on issues such as
pregnancy, the emotional aspects of sexuality such as being in a
healthy relationship, and making sure that girls know what to do to
protect themselves from domestic violence and sexual assault.
Furthermore, with daughters, discussions about sex seemed to occur
more frequently because daughters were more likely to ask questions.

With sons, the sex talk seemed to be a bit more difficult as one
woman explained,
I guess I didnt talk as frankly with my son. My husband talked to my son more. I
think I would approach it differently with a boy. I would talk more about sexual
responsibility. With my son, he wasnt as open to ask questions. The talks were more

When parents do talk to their sons they tend to focus on expectations

and making sure their sons know about the consequences of getting a
girl pregnant. However, each of the parents that had a son agreed that
perhaps more could be done to combat the double standard that exists
when it comes to sexual behavior. One participant spoke to this
standard as he explained:
We should have more emphasis on male behavior because unless you educate males
then its not going to work. Because educating females and telling them that they
shouldnt and then they go out with males who pressure them into doing it because
they are uneducated, then you cant blame the females alone. But thats exactly
what we tend to do. You can educate females and tell them they shouldnt engage in
sexual behavior but we dont emphasize as much with boys. On many occasions you
hear parents saying oh, boys will be boys, but they never say girls will be girls when
it comes to sexual behavior. And boys will be boys, but if they have a daughter they
dont want the daughter to have premarital sex or be promiscuous, so if boys will be
boys who will they be boys with? Thats the question. Its a double standard that we

One of the prevailing factors in why more of the attention is

focused on girls when it comes to talking about sex is the fact that with
increased access to reproductive options such as birth control and
abortion, much of the burden of sexual responsibility has shifted to the
shoulders of women. As sociologist Kristen Luker explains, When
marriage and parenthood became choices for women, they also
became choices for men. Men who want to sleep with you no longer
have to promise to take care of you if something happens. Before,

men carried condoms and the young man took responsibility for
preventing pregnancy. Now, since effective contraception usually
means contraceptive methods used by women, the decision to use
contraception increasingly has become the womans responsibility.
When it comes to legal abortion, men increasingly feel that they do not
have to support what is now seen as a personal choice (Luker 2006:
80-81). With so much attention being focused on making sure young
women know how to protect themselves, its clear that young men are
missing out on important messages along the way. If parents would
focus as much attention on educating young men about the risks and
responsibilities of sex as they do young girls, perhaps some of the
negative consequences of sex could be avoided.

Sex represents a complicated and broad issue in which physical
health, emotional well-being, and personal pleasure is at stake. Its no
doubt that when faced with the task of teaching ones child about sex,
most parents struggle to find a healthy balance between providing
open, honest, and comprehensive information about sex while at the
same time lacing their messages in a value based structure so that
their children will be able to make healthy and informed choices with
some moral guidance. While parents generally dont want the schools
to take a stand on what is right and wrong, the parents in this study all

supported in depth information regarding sex and sexuality being
taught in schools in addition to the discussions that they have at home.
The parents in this study seemed to be negotiating between a
cultural reality in which they recognize that children are most likely
going to become sexually active in adolescence and that teenagers
may not always feel comfortable talking to their parents about
everything when it comes to sex. Similarly, parents dont always feel
comfortable discussing all sexual topics, which makes school based sex
education a valuable partner in preparing teenagers for when they do
become sexually active.
Issues such as homosexuality and pornography offer new








regarding sexuality, and for the most part, parents would be in favor of
the schools providing some assistance in addressing these topics.
Additionally, parents seemed to recognize that the sex talk is different
for boys and girls and this difference is something that many of them
feel needs to be addressed.
The findings in this study only begin to scratch the surface when
it comes to learning about what parents are teaching their children
about sex. A larger and more diverse sample size would add depth and
perhaps variation to these research findings and a key component to
understanding parent to child communication about sex would be
finding out what children are actually getting from such conversations.

Perhaps the results from this study will lead to future research

Works Cited
Barth, Richard P., Joyce V. Fetro, Douglas Kirby, Nancy Leland. 1991.
the Risk: Impact of a New Curriculum on Sexual Risk-Taking,
Planning Perspectives 23: 253-263.
Berne, Linda A., Barbara K. Huberman. 1995. Sexuality Education,
Phi Delta
Kappan77: 229-233.
Brener, N. 2002. Trends in Sexual Risk Behaviors Among High School
StudentsUnitedStates, 1991-2001, Morbidity and Mortality Weekley
Report 51: 856859.
Dailard, C. 2003. Marriage is No Immunity from Problems with

Pregnancies, The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy 6: 10-13.
Darroch, Jacqueline E., David J. Landry, Susheela Singh. 2000.
Education in Fifth and Sixth Grades in U.S. Public Schools, 1999,
Planning Perspectives 32: 212-219.
Darroch, Jacqueline E., Jennifer J. Frost, Susheela Singh, and the Study
Team. 2001.Difference in Teenage Pregnancy Rates Among Five
Developed Countries:The Rules of Sexual Activity and
Contraceptive Use, Family Planning Perspectives 33: 244-250 &
Darroch, Jacqueline E., Jenny Higgins, David J. Landry, Susheela Singh.
FactorsAssociated with the Content of Sex Education in U.S.
Public Secondary Schools, Perspectives on Sexual and
Reproductive Health 35: 261-269.
Donovan, Patricia. 1998. School-Based Sexuality Education: The
Issues and
Challenges, Family Planning Perspectives 30: 188-193.
Green, Shelley K., Donna L. Sollie. 1989. Long-Term Effects of a
ChurchBased Sex Education Program on Adolescent Communication,
Family Relations 38: 152-156.
Grunbaurn, J. 2004. Youth Risk Behaviors Surveillance, United States,
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 55: SS-2.
Hauser, Debra. 2004 Five Years of Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage
Assessing the Impact, Advocates for Youth 1-20.
Jemmott, J.B., L.S. Jemmott, G.T. Fong. 1998. Abstinence and Safer
Journal of the American Medical Association 279: 1529-1536.
Kim, Young J., Melvin Zelnik. 1982. Sex Education and Its Association
Teenage Sexual Activity, Pregnancy and Contraceptive Use,
Planning Perspectives 14: 117-119+123-126.


Kirby, D. 1991. Reducing the Risk: A New Curriculum to Prevent

Sexual Risk
Taking, Family Planning Perspectives 23: 253-263.
Luker, Kristen. 2006. When Sex Goes to School. N.Y.: W.W. Norton and Company.
Mahler, Karen. 1996. Condom Availability in the Schools: Lessons from
Courtroom, Family Planning Perspectives 28: 75-77.
United States House of Representatives, Committee on Government
ReformMinority Staff, Special Investigations Division, Prepared for Henry
Waxman. The Content of Federally Funded Abstinence-Only
Programs, December 2004.
Wilson, Susan N. 2000. Sexuality Education: Our Current Status, and
an Agenda
For 2010, Family Planning Perspectives 32: 252-254.