Annenberg's Bleakley, Hennessy, and Fishbein published in Sexuality Research and Social Policy

Annenberg Public Policy Center researchers Amy Bleakley, Ph.D.; Michael Hennessy, Ph.D.; and Prof. Martin Fishbein, Ph.D., have published an article titled “Predicting Preferences for Types of Sex Education in U.S. Schools” in Sexuality Research and Social Policy (Vol. 7, Number 1, March 2010, pp. 50–57). The article is based on data from the Annenberg National Health Communication Survey.

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.