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Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2011 Jun;16(3):210-24. doi: 10.3109/13625187.2011.561937. Epub 2011 Mar 17.

Sex education in Swedish schools as described by young women.

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Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences, BMC, Husargatan 3, Box 564, 751 22 Uppsala, Sweden.



To investigate sex education in Swedish schools regarding content, satisfaction, and suggested improvements, as described by teenagers and young adults.


Waiting-room survey conducted among 225 female patients (aged 13-25) at youth and student health clinics in one large-, and one medium-sized Swedish city.


Most participants (97%, n = 218) had received sex education in school, of varying content and quality. Sixty percent thought basic body development was sufficiently covered. Insufficiently covered topics included sexual assault (96%), sexual harassment (94%), pornography (90%), abortion (81%), emergency contraception (80%), fertility (80%), and pregnancy (59%). Thirty percent received no information about chlamydia, and almost half reported that condyloma and human papillomavirus had not been addressed. The youngest respondents (13-19 years) were significantly more likely to have been told about emergency contraception, homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality. Nearly half (46%) considered 'acceptable' the knowledge gained from sex education provided at school whereas more than a third considered it 'poor' or 'very poor'. Suggested improvements included more information, more discussion, greater emphasis on sexual diversity, and more knowledgeable teachers.


Content and quality of sex education varied greatly. Most respondents thought many topics were insufficiently covered, sex education should be more extensive, and teachers better educated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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