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APPC Health Communication Scholars Published in Sexuality Research and Social Policy

APPC scholars Amy Bleakley, Ph.D., Michael Hennessy, Ph.D., and Martin Fishbein, Ph.D., published a paper, “Predicting Preferences for Types of Sex Education in US Schools” (Sexuality Research and Social Policy), identifying characteristics related to sex education policy preferences in the United States. The authors used data from the Annenberg National Health Communication Survey.
Article abstract:
The authors examined how support for abstinence-only education, comprehensive sex education, and condom instruction in US schools was related to beliefs about their respective efficacy, as well as how policy preferences were related to demographic, political, and social variables such as political orientation, attendance at religious services, and having an adolescent in the household. The authors used structural equation modeling to analyze survey data from a nationally representative sample of adults 18 years of age and older. Frequency of attendance at religious services and political orientation were associated with policy preferences directly and indirectly through their influence on beliefs about the educational efficacy of each approach. Having an adolescent in the household, age, and region of the country were not associated with any of the mediating beliefs or outcomes. Religious and political factors emerged as key characteristics in explaining support or opposition to different sex education approaches in the United States.

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