Parents support Sexual Health Education in Schools
Most Canadian parents want their children to receive sexual health education in the schools. Surveys of Canadian adults and parents conducted in the 1980s and early 1990s showed that Canadian parents have strongly approved of the provision of sexuality and/or HIV/AIDS education in the schools (Lawlor & Purcell, 1988; Ornstein, 1989; Verby & Herold, 1992).
A National Post/Global Poll (2001) found that 58% of Canadians believe that sex education prevents unwanted pregnancies and 80% disagreed with the statement that sex education encourages youth to be too focused on sex.
A recent series of surveys have asked samples of Canadian parents of school-aged children about their opinions of school-based sexual health education (Langille, Langille, Beazley & Doncaster, 1996; McKay, 1996; McKay, Pietrusiak & Holowaty, 1998; Weaver, Byers, Sears, Cohen, & Randall, 2002).
In all of these surveys, more than 85% of parents either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement “Sexual health education should be provided in the schools”
It is also clear that Canadian parents support a broadly based program of school-based sexual health education for their children. For example, in a study of 4,200 New Brunswick parents (Weaver et al., 2002), the following 10 topics were rated as either important, very important, or extremely important for inclusion in the sexual health curriculum:
||sexually transmitted diseases
birth control methods & safer sex practices
correct names for genitals
The results of this and other surveys show that Canadian parents not only want sexual health education taught in the schools, they want these programs to teach a wide range of sexual health topics that equip youth with the information to make informed choices about their sexual health.