Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


The study was undertaken to look at adolescents' experiences in school sexual education programs, to examine how abstinence only and comprehensive sexual education programs impact adolescent sexual behavior, and to explore whether there is a correlation between adolescents' sexual behavior and their satisfaction with their sexual health education. This study also set out to examine where adolescents turn for more comprehensive sexual health information when they are not satisfied with what they are receiving in school. This study surveyed 56 college freshmen about their middle school and high school sexual education experiences and their attitudes toward sexual health. Participants provided demographic information and answered questions about their values, beliefs, and attitudes; sexual education experience; sexual health knowledge acquisition; and personal sexual experience. The major findings of this research showed that adolescent satisfaction with sexual education classes was directly related to how contraception was portrayed in those classes, that adolescents whose classes portrayed contraception as highly effective were much more likely to use condoms for the prevention of STIs, and that adolescents would like to get more sexual health information from their parents and other significant individuals in their lives than they currently receive.


Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2007. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 56-59).