Factors Associated With Students’ Attitudes Towards Sexuality and Sexuality Education: An Exploratory Study


Adolescents become active in exploring sexual relationships and are likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors. Empirical research shows that school-based sexuality education (SBSE) is effective in preventing risky sexual behavior and promoting healthy sexual life. Research also reveals that effectiveness of SBSE depends largely on adolescents’ attitudes towards sexuality and SBSE. Objectives: To provide information for effective implementation of SBSE, this study explored factors (demographic characteristics, religiosity, and spirituality) associated with students’ sexual attitudes and their views on SBSE. Method: Reliability and validity of measuring instruments were established and incorporated in a questionnaire for data collection. Data were collected via convenience sampling from three secondary schools in Hong Kong. Informed consent of students and parents were solicited. Participation were voluntary and anonymous. Results: A total of 818 students (aged between 13 and 18 years, 70.6% were males) participated in the study. Consistent with findings reported in the West, students who were older in age, male gender, and without religious affiliation were more permissive in sexual attitudes. Nonetheless, female students were more liberal in attitudes towards issues such as abortion, contraception, and homosexuality. Students with higher levels of religiosity and spirituality were negatively related to permissive sexual attitudes. As in the West, great majority (93.1%) of students showed positive attitudes towards SBSE. Inconsistent with Western studies, female gender, conservative sexual attitudes, religiosity, and spirituality were positively associated with attitudes towards SBSE. Conclusion: Majority of students were supportive of SBSE, which provides a fertile ground for the implementation of SBSE. Factors specific to the local settings should be taken into account for effective implementation of SBSE.

Author Information
Hoi Nga NG, Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong
Kam Weng Boey, Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong
Chi Wai Kwan, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Hing Kwan To, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2023
Stream: Primary & Secondary Education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon