Ann, Amy, Kyle Research Proposal

The Sexual Education and Sexual Behavior of High School Students in Sioux City, IA.
Ann Jepsen, Amy Kessler, Kyle Eagen
The importance and effectiveness of sexual education in schools has been debated for years. The effectiveness of sex education programs has been difficult to determine considering that there is no standard educational requirements given by the government. Programs vary from state to state and school to school. Pregnancy and STD rates have remained steady over the past few years and the goal is to find out whether or not education is linked to better and safer decision making in students. The sexual behavior and attitudes of the students will be compared to the sources of the information they have received. Research will also be done to find what the current sexual education programs in the Sioux City school system are teaching. The goal of this research is to find not only what types of information is given to students, but also to find what context this information is given in.
No physical risks are possible in this study. Risks include embarrassment and discomfort when answering such personal questions. The questionnaires are voluntary and a student may opt not to answer any question they feel too uncomfortable in answering. While information such as age, race, and gender may be obtained, the surveys themselves will be completely anonymous (no records of names will be kept). We will do this in order to protect the students privacy and to reduce the chance that any psychological damage is done. We want to make it clear that our purpose is to gather information only. No advice or indoctrination will be given to the subjects. The students of the Sioux City, IA high schools are the target subjects. Parental consent will be needed along with cooperation from the school administrators. The current number of students enrolled in Sioux City public high schools is 4071. If we can get information from even a quarter of this number, our sampling will be quite adequate.
Types of subjects: teenagers aged 15-18, parental consent will be obtained. The parents of these teens will also be given a survey to determine the parental attitudes and priorities when talking about sexual education.
A questionnaire will first be given to the parents to find out their views on the education of their children. Sample questions include:
Do you think that schools should be responsible for teaching sexual education?
At what age is it appropriate for sexual education to be taught?
Is it more important to teach safe sex or abstinence?
When this questionnaire is given to the parents, a form to obtain parental consent in order to give questionnaires to their children will be included. The information obtained from the students will be focused not only on when and from whom they learned about different sexual topics, but also on the frequency and types of sexual behavior they engage in. Questions on knowledge will be sorted into topics and sources.
Examples of questions include:
Where and when did you learn about the following subjects; (Circle the first source of information, and write what grade you were in when you first got the information)
Intercourse: Parents/Guardians School Media Friends Grade:__
Oral Sex: Parents/Guardians School Media Friends Grade:

STDs: Parents/Guardians School Media Friends Grade:
__

Examples of sexual behavior questions include:
How often do you engage in the following behaviors, in what grade did you first do so;
Tongue Kissing: Daily Weekly Monthly Once or twice in my life Never Grade:_
Petting: Daily Weekly Monthly Once or twice in my life Never Grade:
_
Oral Sex: Daily Weekly Monthly Once or twice in my life Never Grade:_
Intercourse: Daily Weekly Monthly Once or twice in my life Never Grade:
_

Once this information is gathered we intend to compare the source of education against the types and frequency of sexual behavior of the students. The information taken from the parents will help to give a base when observing the comfort level of talking about the subject at hand and seeing where the priorities lie with parents on the subject of sexual education. The possible benefits of this study include a chance to evaluate the effectiveness of the current sexual education in Sioux City schools and this study could provide valuable information on how to improve the current system.

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