Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Quality Schooling Has Little Impact On Teenage Sexual Activity; Socioeconomic Status Does

Date:
February 11, 2008
Source:
BioMed Central/BMC Public Health
Summary:
Socioeconomic situation and the local high school catchment area have a more powerful influence on reported sexual experience among 15 and 16 year olds than classroom discipline or the quality of relationships within schools.

A report shows that socio-economic situation and the local high school catchment area have a more powerful influence on reported sexual experience among 15 and 16 year olds than classroom discipline or the quality of relationships within schools.

This is the first study to attempt to look beyond the formal sex education curriculum and assess whether the way in which schools are run, in terms of their organisation and social relationships, can affect levels of sexual activity amongst pupils. A team of researchers from Glasgow and Edinburgh analysed data on nearly 5000 pupils from 24 different Scottish Schools. They found that overall 42% of girls and 33% of boys reported experience of sexual intercourse, but the rates between schools ranged widely, from 23% to 61%.

"Schools have the potential to influence their pupils' behaviour through the school's social organisation and culture, as well as through the formal curriculum," said study lead author Dr Marion Henderson from the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow. "The idea of Health Promoting Schools -- whereby schools move beyond their formal health education curricula to examine how their policies and practices throughout the school affect the health and well-being of pupils -- is now encouraged by government."

However, the study found that how well a school is run appeared to have little influence at all on sexual behaviour. Once the researchers had accounted for all the known predictors of sexual activity (parental monitoring, individual socio-economic factors, the age of pupils, their levels of personal spending money or the proportion of their friends perceived to be having sex) -- the variance between schools dropped sharply. The characteristics of a school, including relationships between teachers and pupils, appearance, discipline and the school's layout, showed only a very weak impact on the rates of sexual experience.

The results revealed that school level socio-economic factors remain very influential even after individual pupils' socio-economic status is taken into account. Dr Henderson explained: ''School-level socio-economic factors, such as levels of deprivation, do have a big influence. This suggests that an individual who is deprived but attending a school with an affluent catchment area may be discouraged from sexual activity, whilst an affluent individual attending a school with a deprived catchment area may be encouraged towards earlier sexual intercourse."

Commenting on the value of sex education in schools Dr Henderson said ''It would be over-simplifying to interpret these results as suggesting that sex education isn't valuable. The study was looking at effects of school beyond the sex education curricula. Sex education is intended to encourage young people to be responsible for their own sexual health and to make informed choices. What the results tell us is that to make a further big impact on early sexual activity and pregnancy the government will need to tackle deprivation and neighbourhoods."

This research was recently published in the online open access journal, BMC Public Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central/BMC Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BioMed Central/BMC Public Health. "Quality Schooling Has Little Impact On Teenage Sexual Activity; Socioeconomic Status Does." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080207203918.htm>.
BioMed Central/BMC Public Health. (2008, February 11). Quality Schooling Has Little Impact On Teenage Sexual Activity; Socioeconomic Status Does. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080207203918.htm
BioMed Central/BMC Public Health. "Quality Schooling Has Little Impact On Teenage Sexual Activity; Socioeconomic Status Does." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080207203918.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins