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Adolescents' receipt of sex education in a nationally representative sample, 2011–2019

Journal of Adolescent Health Nov 14, 2021

Lindberg LD, Kantor LM, et al. - Analyzing changes in adolescents' receipt of sex education, from 2015 to 2019, it was realized that many adolescents do not receive critical information because of disparities in the receipt of sex education, by gender, race/ethnicity, and the location of instruction. Gaps in meeting national objectives call for expansion of provision of sex education.

  • Nationally representative data from the 2011–2015 and 2015–2019 National Survey of Family Growth were obtained to estimate adolescents' receipt of sex education by gender and race/ethnicity for content, timing, and location of instruction.

  • Few significant changes in receipt of formal sex education were evident between 2011–2015 and 2015–2019, and instruction on waiting until marriage to have sex declined between these periods.

  • Sex education was acquired by nearly half of the adolescents in both the periods, and significant gender disparities in the instruction regarding waiting until marriage to have sex and condom skills were observed in 2015–2019.

  • Less probability of receiving formal instruction before the first sex on sexually transmitted infection/HIV, birth control, or where to get birth control, was noted in non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic males vs non-Hispanic White males.

  • According to many adolescents, religious settings were the sources of instruction about waiting until marriage to have sex (56% F. and 49% M.), but almost none acquired instruction regarding birth control from those settings.

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