Original Study| Volume 29, ISSUE 1, P69-73, February 2016

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Racial and/or Ethnic Differences in Formal Sex Education and Sex Education by Parents among Young Women in the United States


      Study Objective

      We sought to investigate the associations between race and/or ethnicity and young women's formal sex education and sex education by parents.

      Design, Setting, and Participants

      Cross-sectional analysis of a nationally representative sample of 1768 women aged 15-24 years who participated in the 2011-2013 National Survey of Family Growth.

      Interventions and Main Outcome Measures

      We assessed 6 main outcomes: participants' report of: (1) any formal sex education; (2) formal contraceptive education; (3) formal sexually transmitted infection (STI) education; (4) any sex education by parents; (5) contraceptive education by parents; and (6) STI education by parents. The primary independent variable was self-reported race and/or ethnicity.


      Nearly all of participants (95%) reported any formal sex education, 68% reported formal contraceptive education, and 92% reported formal STI education. Seventy-five percent of participants reported not having any sex education by parents and only 61% and 56% reported contraceptive and STI education by parents, respectively. US-born Hispanic women were more likely than white women to report STI education by parents (adjusted odds ratio = 1.87; 95% confidence interval, 1.17-2.99). No other significant racial and/or ethnic differences in sex education were found.


      There are few racial and/or ethnic differences in formal sex education and sex education by parents among young women.

      Key Words

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