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Sex Education Analysis: The Experiences and Perceptions of Sex Education Among College Students

In the United States, sex education in grades K-12 varies by state, and there is no universal, comprehensive curriculum in place. This leaves some students at a disadvantage as they are often uneducated on important topics pertaining to sexual activity, increasing the risk for unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Further, students who identify as LGBTQIA+ are at even higher risk than their straight peers as information about sexual topics pertaining to LGBTQIA+ is often left out of sex education programs. To adequately prepare students for the future, a comprehensive sex education that addresses the lives of all students needs to be in place. Further, open conversations that decrease the stigma and risk surrounding sex education and sexual activity in general are needed. To address this issue, this study was conducted to explore the difference between straight and LGBTQIA+ college students in their levels of self-reported preparedness they felt as a result of the sex education they received. A total of one hundred and three (103) participants (72 Straight, 31 LGBTQIA+) responses to a questionnaire regarding their experiences in sex education were analyzed to see any differences among sexual orientation and levels of preparedness. A 2x3 Factorial ANOVA revealed that there was no significant difference between sexual orientation groups and their levels of preparedness. These findings suggest that straight and LGBTQIA+ students have similar levels of preparedness because of the sex education they received. Future research should utilize a larger LGBTQIA+ sample to explore this further.

Sabrina Dawicki '22
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