Sex-education needs and interests of high school students in a rural New York county.Adolescence. 1985 Fall; 20(79):581-92.A
Seventy-five boys and 88 girls from three high schools in a rural county of New York state took a sex-education quiz and were asked to describe their sexual and contraceptive experiences and sex-education interests. Consistent with most previous research, nonvirgin teenagers who earned better grades on the sex-education quiz failed to use more effective contraceptives than nonvirgins who had performed poorly on the quiz. There was a striking similarity among students' descriptions of sex-education interests, regardless of their gender, previous enrollment in a health course, or experience with sexual intercourse. Very few teenagers (9%) were completely satisfied with their high school's current sex-education program. The majority (57%) wanted to learn more about contraceptives and venereal disease prevention, either as the primary focus of their sex-education curriculum or in combination with other topics such as sexual values, the biology of reproduction, and information about the human body. Many adolescents (19%) seemed confused about their sex-education needs and described a vague interest in everything sexual. Only 2% of the students thought sex education should provide them with erotic information or techniques for increasing sexual pleasure. The remaining students wished that their sex-education courses would give them additional information solely about sexual values (5%) or the biology of reproduction and knowledge about the body (8%).