How much do middle schoolers really know?

by jennaslowik on April 14, 2014 - 10:55pm

Jenna Slowik
Students at the University of Wisconsin did a study in which they gave a questionnaire to 57 eighth grade students from the same middle school. Included in this questionnaire was questions about relationships and sexual activities. The purpose of this study was to create better programs for young adolescents that promoted safe sex and related activities. They wanted an idea of what students thought and understood about this topic so they can make programs that would make their knowledge and opinions better. From this study, researchers found that for certain idea, there was a difference in opinions between genders. For example, boys rated attractiveness in a partner way higher than girls did. They also thought that intimate touching was more important than girls did. On the other hand, boys and girls did generally agree on a few of the same things. They both said that sex with a condom is acceptable and that the reason for relationships is to grow as a person and become more socially involved.
Even though researchers found the conclusions they were looking for, they came across some implications while conducting this study. One being that they were working with too small of a sample making the sample not so reliable for generalization. Also, some information was not allowed to be collected from the students so that left out some important parts of the study.

(Sex Education, November 2009, Vol 9, Issue 4)