Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 1340-1342

Sex-Education Programs

  • Gina CoffeeAffiliated withSchool of Education (School Psychology), Loyola University Chicago Email author 

Synonyms

Sexuality education

Definition

According to the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), “Sexuality education is a lifelong process of acquiring information and forming attitudes, beliefs, and values. It encompasses sexual development, sexual and reproductive health, interpersonal relationships, affection, intimacy, body image, and gender roles” [6]. A sex-education program is one way by which children may learn about sexuality.

Description

In today’s society, the sexual health of youth is of paramount importance. According to a recent study by The Guttmacher Institute [1], adolescents in the United States are having sexual intercourse, becoming pregnant, and contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Specifically, 46% of all adolescents aged 15–19 years old have engaged in sexual intercourse. In addition, approximately 750,000 teenage girls become pregnant each year. Of these pregnancies, 82% are uninten ...

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