08 SES 02, Challenges of Sexuality Education: Research Highlights from Portugal
This study focuses on the implementation of sex education in Portuguese schools, between the 7th and 9th grades, according to a bio-ecological approach (Bronfrenbrenner, 2005) and the biographic and professional model of sex education (López, 2005). Although ecological models have been increasingly applied to health behaviors and health education (e.g., McLeroy, Bibeau, Steckler, & Glanz, 1988; Salazar et al., 2010), little research has looked at sex education from an ecological view (Eisenberg, Madsen, Oliphant, & Resnick, 2012). This model has been evinced as well-suited because it allows considering sex education from a broader and complex view and exploring cross-level influences (Einsenberg et al., 2012), avoiding a narrow understanding of relevant factors for its implementation. So sex education is one of the major proximal processes of psychosexual development, and, as proximal process, it is influenced by several systems, from the chrono and macrosystems to the school microsystem. Nonetheless, the factors affecting sex education implementation in schools are less explored (UNESCO, 2010), particularly the factors from multiple levels.
The main research question of the current study is: which factors affect school-based sex education implementation in Portugal? The study goals are: to know how schools really plan, implement and evaluate sex education; to explore the factors that contribute to successful implementation of effective school-based sex education; to explore barriers or challenges for sex education implementation; and to explore cross-level influences.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (2005). Making human beings human: bioecological perspectives on human development.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Eisenberg, M. E., Madsen, N., Oliphant, J. A., & Resnick, M. (2012). Policies, principals and parents: multilevel challenges and supports in teaching sexuality education. Sex Education, 12, 317-329. doi: 10.1080/14681811.2011.615614 López, F. (2005). La educación sexual. Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva. McLeroy, K. R., Bibeau, D., Steckler, A., Glanz, A. (1988). An ecological perspective on health promotion programs. Health Education Behaviour, 15, 351-377. Salazar, L. F., Bradley, E. L. P., Younge, S. N., Daluga, N. A., Crosby, R. A., Lang, D. L., & DiClemente, R. J. (2010). Applying ecological perspectives to adolescent sexual health in the United States: rhetoric or reality? Health Education Research, 25, 552-562. doi: 10.1093/her/cyp065 UNESCO (2010). Levers of Success: Case studies of national sexuality education programmes. Paris: UNESCO. Yin, R. (2008). Case study research: design and methods. Sage: New York.
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