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Student perceptions of their experience in sexuality education

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Title: Student perceptions of their experience in sexuality education
Author: Noon, Saleema
Degree: Master of Arts - MA
Program: Family and Nutritional Sciences
Copyright Date: 1997
Issue Date: 2009-03-09
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]
Abstract: To date, most research in sexuality education has been conducted in the form of outcome or evaluation studies, primarily concerned with determining the quality, effectiveness or worth of a program. Although very little research has investigated students' subjective perceptions of their experience in sexuality education, several authors (e.g., Aoki, 1988; Borich & Jemelka, 1982; Patton, 1990; Voss, 1980) argue that such studies would provide valuable insights into sexuality education. The purpose of this study was to explore, through semi-structured interviews, students' perceptions of their experience in sexuality education. More specifically, this study examined, from the student's perspective, components of sexuality education such as the content, the teacher, the teaching methods used, the message conveyed to students about sexuality and the relevance to students' lives and concerns. Students' perceptions of the influence of the unit on their sexuality-related knowledge, sexuality-related attitudes and sexual behaviour or behavioural intentions were also sought. Fourteen 10th grade students (8 female, 6 male) who recently completed a unit on human sexuality in a Lower Mainland junior secondary school were interviewed for this study, and these interviews were taperecorded and transcribed for analysis. Students' comments revealed that, although the curriculum document indicated a comprehensive approach, the unit was problem-focused. Students differed in their feelings about the teaching methods used, but almost all students viewed their sexuality education teacher in a positive manner. The message conveyed to students about sexuality was neither positive nor negative. Although abstinence was presented by the teachers as the preferable alternative to being sexually active, the teachers also recognised that not all teens choose to be abstinent, and need to be taught responsible sexual behaviour. Gender and relevance emerged as themes in interviews. It appears that the unit on human sexuality was of limited relevance to the lives and concerns of students who were not yet sexually active, and that male and female students had a different kind of experience in sexuality education.
Affiliation: Medicine, Faculty of
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/5814
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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