A Meta-Analysis Examining Effects of School Sexuality Education Programs on Adolescents' Sexual Knowledge, 1960–1997

Authors

  • Eun Young Song,

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      Eun Young Song, PhD, CHES, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, 4100 John R. Road, Hudson-Webber Cancer Research Center, Fourth Floor, Detroit, MI 48201; or songe@karmanos.org

  • B.E. Pruitt,

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      B.E. Pruitt, EdD, Professor, Division of Health and Safety, Dept. of Health and Kinesiology; School of Rural and Public Health, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

  • James McNamara,

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      James McNamara, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Education Psychology; School of Rural and Public Health, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

  • Brian Colwell

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      Brian Colwell, PhD, CHES, Associate Professor, Dept. of Social and Behavioral Health, School of Rural and Public Health, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.


Abstract

ABSTRACT: This study analyzed and synthesized findings from selected studies conducted from 1960 through 1997 regarding effects of school sexuality education on adolescents' sexual knowledge. This purpose was achieved using meta-analysis. Sixty-seven studies that met the selection criteria were included in the meta-analysis. The 67 studies reported 72 outcomes regarding sexual knowledge, which were grouped into six independent variables related to knowledge about sexuality. A weighted effect size method developed by Hedges and Olkin was calculated using all studies. For all studies, 97% of weighted effect sizes were positive. The weighted average effect size on sexual knowledge across all studies of 0.41 was statistically significant, indicating a significant difference occurred between control and experimental groups' mastery of objectives related to sexual knowledge. It was concluded that sexuality education programs positively affect overall sexual knowledge.

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