What are we teaching our kids? An analysis of school-based sexuality education content and state policy in relation to developmental needs of youth
AuthorTepper, Karen Hoffman
AdvisorBetts, Sherry C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA developmental-contextual approach to understanding sexuality education course content is used in this national study. Examining policy as a factor that may influence young people's environments and hence their development is an important role for developmental research. Using data from the CDC's School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) 2000 and the Alan Guttmacher Institute's State Policies in Brief Report (Alan Guttmacher Institute, 2001), three general topic areas are addressed. First, can school level be differentiated by the sexuality education topics taught at various school levels? Second, are there significant differences in state policies that regulate school-based sexuality education targeting different school levels? Third, how do state and classroom level variables contribute to variance in the likelihood of a given topic being taught as part of school health education? The two sources of data provide a nationally representative sample of 1,201 teachers and state level data from Department of Education administrators and policies from all 50 states. These data were analyzed using stepwise discriminant analysis and Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM). This study resulted in three primary findings. First, both state policies and classroom content were significantly different by school level. Second, state policy was not a good predictor of the course content being taught in the classroom. Third, teachers' desires for additional training significantly predicted the sexuality education course content taught in schools. Implications for both research and practice were discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Family and Consumer Sciences