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Sexuality Education

Sexuality Education And Development Stages, Contexts And Types Of Sexuality Education, Approaches And Controversies In Other Countries

There is little debate that the words sex and sexuality produce immediate attention. Researchers and teachers in this area have also come to employ the terms family life education, human growth and development, and human sexuality to describe instruction in human reproduction and sexuality (Roth 1993). The Sex Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) recommends the term sexuality education (1992). This term refers to a comprehensive curriculum of instruction addressing not only sexual anatomy and physiology but also reproduction, contraception, sexually disseminated infections (SDIs), and related topics. Sexuality education is viewed by SIECUS as "a lifelong process of acquiring information and forming attitudes, beliefs, and values about identity, relationships, and intimacy." These programs commonly address issues of personality, value formation, decision-making, peer and social pressures, affection, intimacy, body image, gender roles, communication strategies, and various sexual behaviors (Haffner and de Mauro 1991).

There continues to be wide variation in results from various sexuality education interventions in the United States as well as in other countries (Dryfoos 1985; Ekstrand, Siegel, and Krasnovsky 1994). Some have had positive results on actual sexual behavior while others have failed to attain favorable outcomes (Kirby, Short, and Collins 1994). Because a clear means for designing or implementing preventive sexuality education programs has not emerged, researchers and teachers need to remain current on which approaches work best for which students under which circumstances.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaFamily Health Issues