A study of preferred and actual sources of sex information in relationship to the amount of sex information in undergraduate college students

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1970

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate which sources of sex information are preferred by undergraduate college students, and to determine whether or not there is a relationship between the amount of sex information, the preferred source, and the actual source. Certain demographic data (age, sex, religious background and interest, socioeconomic status, size of community, discussion of sex with parents, siblings, and peers, and subjects' and parents' attitudes toward sex) were analyzed to determine to what extent they were related to amount and sources of sex information. Specifically, the hypotheses were: 1) There is no significant difference in preferred source of sex information between subjects making high sex information scores and subjects making low sex information scores. 2) Subjects who receive their sex information from the source they give as their preferred source, have higher sex information scores than subjects who receive their sex information from sources other than their preferred source. The first hypothesis was rejected since a very minor, but statistically significant correlation was found between higher sex information scores and school as preferred source (.14), and between higher sex information scores and church as preferred source (.12). Thus, there are differences in preferred source of sex information between subjects making high sex information scores and subjects making low sex information scores. This result is valid only in that subjects who scored higher in sex information tend to select school and church as their preferred source of sex information more frequently than do persons scoring lower. While this finding is statistically significant, the trend is so slight there is little practical importance in the results. The second hypothesis was rejected since there was no statistical difference in the mean sex information scores for 1) subjects whose preferred source of sex information and actual source of sex information were the same, and 2) subjects whose preferred source and actual source were different. Further analysis of the data revealed some relevant information. Age was the only variable found to relate substantially to the amount of sex information. Books were the only preferred source that correlated with actual source. Peers were found to be the major source of sex information for these subjects, and parents and school were the major preferred sources.

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Keywords

Sex instruction

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