, Volume 283, Issue 2, pp 281-287
Date: 12 Jan 2010

Gender-specific knowledge on sex

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Abstract

Purpose

A study of what sources of knowledge on sex education, reproductive physiology and abortion was sought by adolescents at school.

Methods

A cross-sectional questionnaire study of 9th grade pupils in the municipality of Viborg, Denmark in 2007 compared with similar studies performed in 1986, 1993 and 2000.

Results

A total of 394 of 398 questionnaires were answered in 2007. The age of the pupils was 15.3 ± 1.5 years. In 2007, the limits for legal abortion were known by 64% of the pupils. The boys, who had had sexual debut, answered the question most correctly and the girls with no prior sexual experience the least correctly. The legal aspects of abortion in a 16-year-old girl were known by 58% of the pupils. The school was the most important source of information for the pupil without sexual debut. The adolescents who had sex indicated more use all other sources of information than those without debut. Half of the girls indicated they used magazines as a source of information, whilst only 40% of the boys mentioned pornography and magazines. The contents of girls’ choice of magazines suggest that the use of written pornography as substantial source of information on sexual education. Friends/peers play a major role in sexual knowledge for both genders.

Conclusion

In 2007, school and friends/peers still play a large role in the sexual education of the 9th grade pupils, but screen-based and magazine media whose content include substantial pornographic material share the third place.

Kjeld Leisgård Rasmussen died on March 26, 2007.