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 


Sexuality education


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.


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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