Adolescents' reports of reproductive health education, 1988 and 1995

Case Studies & Research
Periodical title
Family Planning Perspectives

This study used formal reproductive health education and communication with parents on reproductive health among 15-19 year old males from the National Survey of Adolescent Males (1988 and 1995). Female adolescent reports were taken from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth. During this period, reproductive health education became almost universal among adolescent males. The percentage of males receiving information on HIV and AIDS rose from 73% to 97% and percentage receiving instruction on saying no to sex rose from 58% to 75%. Those who dropped out of school received less education. The average age at initial instruction dropped from 14 to 13. Many adolescent males did not receive any education before initiation of sex, and black non-Hispanic men were less likely than either Hispanic men or non-Hispanic white men to have received sexuality education. Males received less education that females overall, and males were less likely to have received instruction before they first had intercourse than female adolescents. Efforts are still needed to improve the provision of comprehensive sexuality education for adolescents, especially with regard to reducing gaps related to gender and race.

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