220259 “They gonna have sex, let's just provide protection” –Perspectives on sexual education on college campuses

Monday, November 8, 2010

Folasade Adeola Kembi, PHD, MPH, CHES , Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Su-I. Hou, DrPH, CPH, CHES, RN , Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Promoting responsible sexual behavior can be through comprehensive or abstinent-only education, but there have been controversies about what types of sex education is better. Either way, a group of college students felt “left out” of sex education programs targeted towards risky sexual behavior only. This study examined the perception of abstinent college students towards sex education programs. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted among 22 abstinent college students to understand their perceptions on sexual education programs. Inclusion criteria were practicing primary or secondary abstinence for over a year, being in college for at least one academic year and in a romantic relationship. Participants were recruited by e-mail and snowball sampling; inductive analysis was used to analyze data from 16 participants who met the criteria. Participants were not against comprehensive sex education targeted towards safer sex behavior. They however expressed dissatisfaction with the content of sex education programs that do not include abstinent students. They felt “left out”, and receive no support or encouragement to sustain abstinence. Participants suggested that sharing stories of people with experience and regrets, removing scare tactics, encouraging support group for abstinent students, and encouraging self-esteem are possible ways to add to the present curriculum and improve current sex education programs. They suggested that sex education programs should reinforce already held beliefs and attitudes among students that are abstinent. Interventions that would focus on prevention of high prevalence of sexual behavior should also provide support and encouragement to those that have already made a positive choice of behavior.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe perspectives of abstinent college students on current sexual education on college campuses. Describe strategies that can be used to improve the involvement of both sexually active and abstinent students in sexual education programs on college campuses.

Keywords: Sexual Behavior, Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author because I was part of the research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3275.0: Sexuality