Barriers to Providing the Sexuality Education That Teachers Believe Students Need

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Sexuality education teachers' perspectives are important to gain a full understanding of the issues surrounding teaching this subject. This study uses a statewide sample of public school teachers to examine what sexuality education content is taught, what barriers teachers face, and which barriers are associated with teaching specific topics. METHODS: Participants included 368 middle and high school teachers with sexuality education assignments in Minnesota. Survey data included topics they teach, what they think they should teach, and barriers they face. Logistic regression was used to examine associations between barriers and teaching each of 9 sexual health topics, among those who believed the topic should be taught. RESULTS: Almost two thirds of participants faced structural barriers; 45% were concerned about parent, student, or administrator response; and one quarter reported restrictive policies. Structural barriers were inversely associated with teaching about communication (OR = 0.20), teen parenting (OR = 0.34), and abortion (OR = 0.32); concerns about responses were associated only with teaching about sexual violence (OR = 0.42); and restrictive policies were inversely associated with teaching about abortion (OR = 0.23) and sexual orientation (OR = 0.47). CONCLUSIONS: Addressing teachers' barriers requires a multipronged approach, including curriculum development and evaluation, training, and reframing the policy debate to support a wider range of sexuality education topics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-342
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of School Health
Volume83
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2013

Fingerprint

Sexuality
student teacher
sexuality
Teaching
Students
Education
teacher
education
abortion
curriculum evaluation
Sex Offenses
Reproductive Health
Parenting
curriculum development
sexual orientation
Administrative Personnel
Sexual Behavior
Curriculum
sexual violence
school

Keywords

  • Child and adolescent health
  • Human sexuality
  • Reproductive health

Cite this

Barriers to Providing the Sexuality Education That Teachers Believe Students Need. / Eisenberg, Marla E.; Madsen, Nikki; Oliphant, Jennifer A.; Sieving, Renee E.

In: Journal of School Health, Vol. 83, No. 5, 01.05.2013, p. 335-342.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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