Secondary School Students’ Sexual Attitude and Their Views on School-based Sexuality Education: A Population-based Study


Background: Students’ attitudes play an important role in the efficacy of school-based sexuality education (SBSE). A pilot study in Hong Kong suggested that demographic characteristics, religiosity, and spirituality were associated with students’ sexual attitudes and their views on SBSE. Objectives: This study recruited a population-based sample of secondary school students to validate findings reported in the pilot study.

Method: A questionnaire was designed to collect data from a web-based survey. A total of 2240 secondary school students (mean age = 14.6, SD = 1.9; 63.2% were females) responded.

Results: Students were slightly liberal in sexual attitude. They were low in religiosity but high in spirituality. Consistent with findings reported in the West, a great majority (95%) of the students were supportive of SBSE. Male gender, older age, higher education, no religion affiliation were significantly associated with liberal sexual attitudes [F (1, 2238) = 9.13 to 144.93, p < .01 or less]. The relationships of demographic characteristics with attitude towards SBSE were negligible. Similar to Western findings, religiosity and spirituality were negatively associated with liberal sexual attitudes (r = -.35 and -.27 respectively, p < .01) but their positive relationships with attitude towards SBSE (r = .07 and .24 respectively p < .01) were different from the negative relationship reported in the West. The negative relationship between liberal sexual attitudes and attitude towards SBSE (r = -.19, p < .01) was another incongruent finding.

Conclusions: This study revealed similar findings reported in the West. Nonetheless, findings specific to the local setting were observed. Though the effect size of the incongruent findings was small, they were specific to the local sociocultural setting and need to be considered in the promotion of SBSE.

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

Paper Information
Conference: ERI2023
Stream: Informal Education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon