Does Sex Education Help Everyone? Sex Education Exposure and Timing as Predictors of Sexual Health Among Lesbian, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Young Women

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using data from 2002 to 2013 collections of the National Survey of Family Growth, we explored how exposure and timing of sex education were associated with sexual health outcomes of 5,141 women between the ages of 15 and 20 years. Consistent with previous literature, sexual minority (e.g., lesbian and bisexual) women reported engaging in sexual intercourse with a male partner earlier than their heterosexual peers. Sexual minority women were also more likely to receive sex education after already engaging in sexual intercourse. Exposure to sex education was associated with poorer outcomes—such as an increased number of male sexual partners and higher reports of pregnancy—for sexual minority women but not for their heterosexual peers. Receiving sex education before engaging in intercourse was associated with an increase in birth control use among bisexual participants. Therefore, school psychologists and counselors should promote inclusive sex education programs that fully address the needs of sexual minority youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-26
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Educational and Psychological Consultation
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019

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Sex Education
Heterosexuality
Reproductive Health
Coitus
Sexual Partners
Sexual Minorities
Contraception
Psychology
Growth

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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title = "Does Sex Education Help Everyone?: Sex Education Exposure and Timing as Predictors of Sexual Health Among Lesbian, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Young Women",
abstract = "Using data from 2002 to 2013 collections of the National Survey of Family Growth, we explored how exposure and timing of sex education were associated with sexual health outcomes of 5,141 women between the ages of 15 and 20 years. Consistent with previous literature, sexual minority (e.g., lesbian and bisexual) women reported engaging in sexual intercourse with a male partner earlier than their heterosexual peers. Sexual minority women were also more likely to receive sex education after already engaging in sexual intercourse. Exposure to sex education was associated with poorer outcomes—such as an increased number of male sexual partners and higher reports of pregnancy—for sexual minority women but not for their heterosexual peers. Receiving sex education before engaging in intercourse was associated with an increase in birth control use among bisexual participants. Therefore, school psychologists and counselors should promote inclusive sex education programs that fully address the needs of sexual minority youth.",
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