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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn Adult wants sex Council North Carolina. More than 93 percent of parents place high importance on sex education in both middle and high school. Sex education in middle and high school is widely supported by parents regardless of their political affiliation. More than 89 percent of parents that identified as Republicans or Democrats support including a wide range of topics in sex education including puberty, healthy relationships, abstinence, sexually transmitted diseases STDs and birth control in high school.
In middle school, 78 percent or more of both parents that identified as Republicans and Democrats support the inclusion of those topics. Controlling for key demographic factors, parents that identified as Democrats are more likely than those that identified as Republicans to support the inclusion of the topics of healthy relationships, birth control, STDs, and sexual orientation in both middle and high school. However, a strong majority of Republican parents want all these topics included in sex education. Sex education which includes a broad set of topics represents an area of strong agreement between parents of both political parties.
The vast majority of Americans support comprehensive sex education in public schools [ 1 — 4 ]. However, the type of sex education received in US public schools varies greatly. States report a wide range in the percentage of topics covered from Ninety-three percent 93 percent of adults supported teaching sex education in high school and 84 percent in middle school, with some differences in support by geographic region [ 6 ].
State-specific data available from Minnesota, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, Florida, Kansas and Indiana demonstrates support for including information on birth control and condoms in sex education [ 17 — 8 ]. Studies also show that most adults believe middle school is the most appropriate time to start sex education [ 17 — 8 ]. Very few parents believe sex education should not be taught in schools [ 10 ]. However, parents report a large gap between what they want and what is actually being offered to their children in schools [ 13 ].
In a study in North Carolina, 91 percent of parents said they wanted sex education taught in schools but only 67 percent said it was being taught [ 13 ]. Generally speaking, younger age, African American race, attending religious services less frequently, higher education levels, lower household income, and being more politically liberal increase the odds of parents supporting comprehensive sex education [ 913 ].
However, all parents are highly supportive of sex education in schools. Among parents, there is strong support for including a variety of topics in sex education. A review of the literature identified only two existing studies evaluating the association between political affiliation and sex education [ 1114 ], and only a few others looking at the role of political conservativeness or liberalism and views on sex education among parents [ 9 — 1015 ].
This study assesses the association between political affiliation and support for sex education using a large, diverse sample of parents from across the United States. We examined both general assessments of the perceived importance of sex education in schools and support for including particular topics in middle and high school, and examined differences between parents that identified as Republicans and Democrats.
This study analyzed secondary, de-identified data that was collected and provided by GfK. The paper describes the consent and assent procedure utilized by Gfk in for parent and child participants. For the present study, we only used data from parents. Further, our policies conform to participant treatment protocols outlined by the federal Office Management and Budget, following guidelines Adult wants sex Council North Carolina the Belmont Report.
Survey responses are confidential; personally identifying information is never revealed to clients or other external parties without explicit respondent approval and a client-ed nondisclosure agreement. Adult wants sex Council North Carolina are self-administered and accessible any time of day for a deated period. Participants can complete a password-protected survey only once.
Members may withdraw from the panel at any time, and continued provision of the web-enabled device e. Parents were surveyed in July, by Gfk, Inc. Gfk has constructed a large and diverse panel of adults in the United States, who were recruited using a combination of random digit dial phone techniques and address-based sampling.
Parents for this study Adult wants sex Council North Carolina sampled from the broader Gfk panel using e-mail invitations and asked to consent for themselves and one of their children between the ages of 9 and 21, who was then Adult wants sex Council North Carolina to assent into the study. For White parents, a random selection of parents from the panel was invited.
All Latino and African American parents in the Gfk panel were invited to participate in this study. A total of 1, parents completed the surveys. Seven hundred and eleven parents were White, were African American and were Latino. One thousand eighty-one 1, mothers and fathers completed the survey. The survey was conducted online although, as noted ly, the panel was recruited using random digit dialing and address based sampling.
Only parent data were analyzed for this study. If the participant indicated they were undecided or were Independent of a political party, they were removed from this analysis. Seventy one people were removed leaving a total N of 1, The parent questionnaire contained Adult wants sex Council North Carolina.
The median survey completion time was 17 minutes. Parents were asked about whether they supported the inclusion of these topics in middle and high school. We then examined the sample size in each of remaining six discriminations and found each had at least individuals. We explored each of the possible ways of collapsing the political affiliation and found that the ificance of the did not differ, so we collapsed the three levels of Republican and Democrat into a dichotomous variable to facilitate interpretation of the data and its applicability.
See Table 1 for key demographics of the parent sample as a whole and by political affiliation. The sample had about 20 percent more Democrats in it than Republicans. Level of educational attainment and employment status was comparable across political affiliations. There was a roughly equal percentage of male and female Republicans, while 70 percent of Democrats were female. A higher percentage of Republicans reported being White and married compared to Democrats see Table 1.
These demographic factors are associated with differences in views on sex education. Generally, White individuals, married individuals and men are less likely to support sex education compared to people of color, unmarried individuals, and women. Despite this, we still see high levels of support no matter the group. In middle school, Only 2. Note: Median and mode for both middle and high school was Adult wants sex Council North Carolina e. In high school, The percentage of parents who felt sex education should not be taught at all remained about the same as for middle school 2. Eighty-two percent of parents who identified as Democrats felt it was very important to include sex education in middle school compared to Ninety-two percent of parents who were Democrats felt it was very important to have sex education in high school compared to Although collectively Democrats placed a higher importance on sex education in both middle and high school than Republicans, a majority of Republican parents found it very important to include sex education in both middle and high school.
However, because the odds are close to zero, there was essentially no difference by political affiliation. Regardless of political affiliation, sex education was of high importance to parents. Overall, parents were very supportive of including all six key sex education topics included in the survey in both middle and high school: puberty, healthy relationships, abstinence, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases STDs and sexual orientation see Table 3. There was more support for including all of the topics in high school compared to middle school, except for puberty which had slightly greater support for inclusion in middle school.
For high school, all six sex education topics, except sexual orientation, had over Eighty-five percent of parents supported including sexual orientation in high school sex education. Similar percentages of Republicans and Democrats wanted healthy relationships, STDs, puberty and abstinence included in both middle and high school see Table 3. However, there were differences in support by political affiliation for two topics: sexual orientation and birth control.
For sexual orientation, For birth control, Parents of both political affiliations generally supported the inclusion of birth control in sex education. However, parents that identified as Democrats had greater odds of supporting the inclusion of birth control in both middle and high school. STDs had the widest difference in odds ratios from middle to high school of all the sex education topics, but this was due to the presence of a large confidence interval.
Democrats had greater odds of supporting the inclusion of STDs in both middle and high school. Democrats had greater odds than Republicans of supporting the inclusion of healthy relationships in both middle and high school. Sexual orientation had a different pattern than the other topics. In general, for all topics the inclusion of topics was more highly supported in high school than in middle school among Democrats. For sexual orientation, the odds of support stayed the same between middle and high school.
Parents that identify as Democrats had greater odds of supporting the inclusion of sexual orientation in both middle and high school compared to Republican parents.
Abstinence was the only topic where there was no ificant difference in support by political affiliation in both middle and high school. Puberty was the only topic on which there was no difference by political affiliation in middle school but there was a ificant difference in high school. All other topics besides abstinence had ificant differences in odds by political affiliation for both middle and high school. Regardless of political affiliation, parents overwhelmingly report that sex education in both middle and high school is important and want sex education to include a variety of topics such as puberty, healthy relationships, abstinence, birth control, and STDs.
Few studies have examined the role of political affiliation in support for sex education. Both parents that identify as Democrats and parents that identify as Republicans believe sex education is important in both Adult wants sex Council North Carolina and high school. In fact, Republican parents place slightly higher overall importance on sex education in both middle and high school, controlling for other factors.Adult wants sex Council North Carolina
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