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A rationale for sexuality education and the development, implementation and evaluation of a sexuality education program for teachers

Coates, Rosemary (1984) A rationale for sexuality education and the development, implementation and evaluation of a sexuality education program for teachers. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Discussions centred around the topic of formalized sexuality education programs are often highly emotive with objective reasoning being sacrificed to value judgements and personal opinion. This thesis discusses a rationale for formal sexuality education programs. The rationale is based on the argument that human beings have to learn their sexual behaviour. That there is evidence to suggest that in most Western societies the current learning channels are predominantly informal and that this tends to produce negative results.

Factors which influence attitudes and opinions toward sexuality education include religious philosophies. historical precepts, self-concept and ignorance. These factors are discussed in a psychosexual context and lead to a discussion on political aspects of the sexuality education argument.

Sex education programs currently offered in Australia, Britian, Sweden and the United States of America are discussed. Details of the programs being obtained through the literature, the conduct of a survey through questionnaires and correspondence, and through personal contact.

The thesis then goes on to outline a philosophy for sexuality education. A distinction is made between ’sex education' and ’sexuality education'.

The development of a curriculum, using an eight stage model and a description of an education program for training teachers as sexuality educators, based on the enunciated philosophy. is given. The historical development of the program and its content is included. Details of the program content are contained in the appendix.

The major evaluation of the program is based on a pretest/ post-test instrument that was developed in association with the program. The original instrument. Test to Assess Sex Knowledge and Attitudes (TASKA) developed and tested by Professor R.O.Hawkins Jnr. of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, was modified to meet Australian and current conditions. The modified instrument, Australian Test to Assess Sex Knowledge and Attitudes (ATASKA), was piloted on two groups. Group N, comprised of 44 subjects none of whom had received any formal training in sexology and were not involved professionally in sexology. Group E, comprised of 37 subjects, all of whom had been professionally involved in sexology for a minimum period of two years, and were currently working in the discipline. The results of the pilot indicated the need for minor modifications to a number of the items in the knowledge section of the instrument. The modified ATASKA was then used as the Pretest/ Post-test instrument to assess the effects of the program.

Comparison of the pre-test results with the post-test results indicate that there was significant change in learning outcomes on the knowledge section. There was no significant change on the attitude section. The pre-test results, however, indicated that the study group entered the program with target scores on the attitude section,(below 90 on a scale from 30 to 150). A comparison between the study group and the groups in the pilot study indicate that there was a significant difference in attitudes between the study group and group N and betweenn the study group's post-test scores and group E.

Other evaluation methods. including student evaluation of the teaching and the instructor, are also discussed.

This thesis promotes the concept that formal sexuality education is a necessary part of a child's learning and growing and that sexuality educators require special skills and consequently special training. The developed program is offered as a model for comprehensive specialist training and the short-term evaluation indicates the efficacy of the cognitive part of the program.

The characteristics of a training program for sexuality educators are stated.

The appendices contain details of the subjects offered within the program model, a copy of the evaluation instrument (ATASKA) and a copy of the Tally Card utilized in the assessment process of teacher practice.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: repository@murdoch.edu.au. Thank you.
Supervisor(s): UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/52154
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