Send to

Choose Destination
Adolescence. 1992 Summer;27(106):369-80.

Student evaluation of sex education programs advocating abstinence.

Author information

Center for Studies of the Family, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602.


This research examined the attitudes of students who were enrolled in three different sex education programs that emphasize abstinence. Data were examined to determine whether secondary school students responded positively to the programs. The programs examined were Values and Choices, Teen Aid, and Sex Respect. Results of the study indicated that all three programs were rated positively, with female, younger (junior high school age), and virgin-naive students rating the programs more highly.


School-based sex education is 1 way to reduce adolescents' risk of exposure to sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancy. This study assesses the acceptability among secondary school students of 3 abstinence approaches to sex education which are presently practiced and ready to use in public schools. Values and Choices is an approach that discusses self-esteem, self-respect, and the student's sexuality. Using video and other teaching materials, this approach stresses the importance of universal values in decision making. Next, Teen Aid takes health education orientation, and includes units on self-esteem, friendship, dating, and dealing with peer pressure and media influence. 2 30-minute videos combine with a traditional classroom approach. The final approach, Sex Respect, focuses upon teen sexuality and abstinence through the use of cartoons. Held exclusively in 3 Utah school districts, these 3-4 week programs were conducted with parental permission at the 7th and 10th grade levels in 9 junior high and 5 senior high schools. Sex Respect was used in the urban district, Teen Aid in the suburban district, and Values and Choices in the rural district. Youth surveys were then conducted over the school year 1988-89 to assess participants' levels of program approval. Each program was positively rated, with highest approval coming from female, junior high school age, and virgin-naive students. While Utah has a relatively small urban population, and the study sample was only 30% non-Mormon, the authors nonetheless consider these findings potentially applicable to other adolescent populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center