Both Democrat and Republican likely voters strongly support sex education in schools

October 15, 2019

Democrats and Republicans disagree on many policies but not on sex education for teenagers, a Rutgers-led national survey finds.

The study, published in the journal Sex Education, surveyed close to 1,000 likely voters who identified as Democrats or Republicans. The findings show a strong majority of them support sex education within schools and the continued funding by the government for teenage pregnancy prevention programs that include information about both abstinence and contraception.

"Sex education remains a vital component to reducing unintended teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases among young people as well as providing young people with the information and skills they need to build healthy relationships," said professor Leslie M. Kantor, chair of the department of urban-global public health at the Rutgers School of Public Health. "Recent attempts by the government to shift funding away from evidence-based pregnancy prevention programs and back to abstinence-only-until- marriage-approaches are out of alignment with what likely voters want."

The study found that Democrats and Republicans express similar support for including the issues of puberty and sexually transmitted diseases in school sex education programs and Republicans were more likely to also want abstinence included as a topic. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to want the topics of healthy relationships, birth control, consent and sexual orientation included in school sex education programs. However, strong support exists for including all of the topics.

"Planned Parenthood's mission includes providing sex education programs and resources that teach teens to make healthy, informed choices," said Nicole Levitz, Director of Digital Products at Planned Parenthood Federation of America and a co-author of the study. "This study validates that most likely voters want comprehensive sex education for middle and high school students."

"This study reconfirms broad and deep support among people in the United States for the importance of teaching high quality sex education that includes information about a myriad of topics, including birth control, healthy relationships, and consent," said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, Power to Decide. In addition, it finds that a majority of likely voters across party affiliations support continued funding for the evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPP Program) and Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) - consistent with a previous Power to Decide survey of adults in the United States."

As attitudes and perceptions shift on key topics such as sexual orientation, the researchers said additional studies should be done among likely voters as well as other groups to assess current attitudes toward sex education practice and policy.
-end-


Rutgers University

Related Public Health Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 and the decolonization of Indigenous public health
Indigenous self-determination, leadership and knowledge have helped protect Indigenous communities in Canada during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and these principles should be incorporated into public health in future, argue the authors of a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.200852.

Public health consequences of policing homelessness
In a new study examining homelessness, researchers find that policy such a lifestyle has massive public health implications, making sleeping on the street even MORE unhealthy.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic likely to cause long-term health problems, Yale School of Public Health finds
The coronavirus pandemic's life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for many people--particularly those from vulnerable populations--a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

The Lancet Public Health: US modelling study estimates impact of school closures for COVID-19 on US health-care workforce and associated mortality
US policymakers considering physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 face a difficult trade-off between closing schools to reduce transmission and new cases, and potential health-care worker absenteeism due to additional childcare needs that could ultimately increase mortality from COVID-19, according to new modelling research published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Access to identification documents reflecting gender identity may improve trans mental health
Results from a survey of over 20,000 American trans adults suggest that having access to identification documents which reflect their identified gender helps to improve their mental health and may reduce suicidal thoughts, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Study estimates mental health impact of welfare reform, Universal Credit, in Great Britain
The 2013 Universal Credit welfare reform appears to have led to an increase in the prevalence of psychological distress among unemployed recipients, according to a nationally representative study following more than 52,000 working-age individuals from England, Wales, and Scotland over nine years between 2009-2018, published as part of an issue of The Lancet Public Health journal on income and health.

BU researchers: Pornography is not a 'public health crisis'
Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have written an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health special February issue arguing against the claim that pornography is a public health crisis, and explaining why such a claim actually endangers the health of the public.

The Lancet Public Health: Ageism linked to poorer health in older people in England
Ageism may be linked with poorer health in older people in England, according to an observational study of over 7,500 people aged over 50 published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Study: Public transportation use linked to better public health
Promoting robust public transportation systems may come with a bonus for public health -- lower obesity rates.

Read More: Public Health News and Public Health Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.