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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Sex education: findings from the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships

Anna Yeung A F , Peter Aggleton B , Juliet Richters C , Andrew Grulich C , Richard de Visser D , Judy M. Simpson E and Chris Rissel E

A School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Level 2, Samuels Building, UNSW Australia, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

B Centre for Social Research in Health, Level 3, Goodsell Building, UNSW Australia, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

C Kirby Institute, Level 6, Wallace Wurth Building, UNSW Australia, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

D School of Psychology, Level 1, Pevensey 1, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9RH, UK.

E School of Public Health, Level 3, Edward Ford Building, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

F Corresponding author. Email: anna.yeung213@gmail.com

Sexual Health - https://doi.org/10.1071/SH16215
Submitted: 16 November 2016  Accepted: 10 January 2017   Published online: 6 March 2017

Abstract

In a national telephone-based survey, information on sexual behaviour and outcomes were collected from 20 091 randomly selected Australians in 2012–13. Data were weighted and analysed to determine the proportion of those who had received school-based sex education and to examine the associations between sex education and sexual health outcomes, specifically a history of a sexually transmissible infection (STI), early pregnancy, contraception use at first sex, and level of STI knowledge. Just over half the respondents (53%; n = 19 836) reported receiving sex education that included information about condoms and contraception. Using logistic regression analysis after adjusting for age, education and non-English-speaking background, we found that sex education was strongly associated with increased odds of using contraception at first vaginal intercourse (odds ratio (OR) = 1.57; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.44–1.71; P < 0.001) and higher levels of STI knowledge (OR = 1.75; 95% CI 1.46–2.12; P < 0.001).


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