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J Adolesc Health. 2005 Sep;37(3 Suppl):S94-9.

Evaluation of the parents as primary sexuality educators program.

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Division of Adolescent Medicine, Strong Children's Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York, USA.



To determine the effectiveness of a sexuality education program designed to help parents become more confident and competent in communicating with their children about sex and sexuality.


Parents attending a four- to five-part workshop series between February 2001 and April 2002 were recruited to participate. A total of 27 workshop series were conducted at various sites in neighborhoods with high teen pregnancy and STD rates. For each series, program staff administered written pre- and post-workshop surveys to parents and parent surrogates. A follow-up telephone survey was conducted with participants 10 weeks after the last workshop. Matched pre-workshop and follow-up surveys were obtained from 174 participants.


Comparison of follow-up to pre-workshop responses revealed that more participants thought discussing sexuality with their children was very important (83% vs. 75%; p < .01). More participants also reported that they often initiate conversations with their children on a variety of topics including sex/intercourse, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), pregnancy, sexuality and gender issues, and their personal standards for sexual behavior. Participants also became more comfortable discussing sensitive topics with their children. At follow-up, more participants responded that they were very comfortable answering their children's questions on the above topics. (All p values < .01.)


The Parents as Primary Sexuality Educators program may be an effective way to increase parent-child communication about health, sexuality, and values. Enhancing parents' ability to communicate expectations and values about sexuality may help support children in making healthy decisions about sexual behavior as adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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