Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

2011 Edition
| Editors: Sam Goldstein, Jack A. Naglieri

Sex-Education Programs

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79061-9_2609



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 unintended and over 25% are...

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  1. 1.
    Guttmacher Institute. (2010). Facts on American teens' sexual and reproductive health. Retrieved February 14, 2010, from http://www.guttmacher.org
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    Kirby, D. (2002). The impact of schools and school programs upon adolescent sexual behavior. The Journal of Sex Research, 39(1), 27–33.Google Scholar
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    Kirby, D. K. (2007). Emerging answers 2007: Research findings on programs to reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Washington, DC: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.Google Scholar
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    Siegel, D. M., Aten, M. J., & Enaharo, M. (2001). Long-term effects of a middle school- and high school-based human immunodeficiency virus sexual risk prevention intervention. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 155, 1117–1126.Google Scholar
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    Office of the Surgeon General. (2001). The surgeon general’s call to action to promote sexual health and responsible sexual behavior. Retrieved February 14, 2010, from http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/sexualhealth/call.htm
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    Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). (2008). Sexuality education Q & A. Retrieved February 14, 2010, from http://www.siecus.org

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education (School Psychology)Loyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA