Sexuality education in Florida: Content, context, and controversy.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amanda Elizabeth Tanner, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: As with many states, Florida has official directives that are intended to influence what type of sexuality education, if any, takes place in public school classrooms. However, little is known about contextual factors that facilitate or challenge the ability of teachers to implement effective sexuality education initiatives. Levels of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies continue to rise in Florida; indeed, the state ranks second in annual incident HIV infections. The need exists to examine the capacity of Florida's schools to develop educational responses to these issues. Methodology: Community-based participatory research (CBPR), scientific review, and a statewide mail-based survey were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data from 479 public school personnel throughout Florida. Results: Even though the vast majority of teachers (87%) acknowledged that some form of “sex education” took place in their schools, it was not accessible to all students, was most often afforded little time, occurred late in the students' academic career, had little to no uniformity in terms of what was being taught and who was teaching it, had no standards in terms of training or quality assurance, and may not adequately address the realistic needs of students. Conclusions and Recommendations: Teachers in Florida reported numerous barriers to providing comprehensive sexuality education. State organizations and advocacy groups located within Florida may consider initiating campaigns to promote comprehensive sexuality education in Florida's public schools.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
sexuality education, Florida, abstinence education, community-based participatory research, public health

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