This website provides “at a glance” data about what parents want sex education for their own children to look like. The data was collected in September 2012 from a representative survey of 1683 parents commissioned by the National Abstinence Education Foundation (NAEF).
Prior to this survey, detailed understanding of parental sex education views was mostly speculative, or anecdotal, at best. Previous surveys usually asked non-specific questions such as: “Do you support both abstinence and contraceptive education?” This kind of question provided little clarity to the type of sex education approach supported by parents, however, because both Abstinence Education and “Comprehensive” Sex Education insist that they provide both abstinence and contraceptive education in their curricula.
This Parents Speak Out survey differs from previous polls in that parents are asked to voice their support for the manner and context in which topics are treated in different sex education classes. This line of questioning is much more informational because we gain a clearer view of how parents want their children to be taught in their sex education classes.
For example, parents were asked how they wanted contraceptive education to be covered in sex education classes. Overwhelmingly, parents indicated that they supported the methodology used by Abstinence Education, in which students are informed of the limitations of contraception and the discussion is always within the context of promoting abstinence.
These nuanced and detailed questions greatly differ from other sex education surveys, which more predictably only gauge respondents’ awareness of top-line media messages surrounding the sex education debate, rather than a keen understanding and response to what is actually being taught within the classroom.
From the outset, the goal of the Parents Speak Out survey was to gather objective and meaningful information on what parents want their children to learn in their sex education classes. The goal was achieved and we hope that this website will provide an easy way for parents, policy-makers, and those who care about youth, to navigate around sometimes confusing statistics. We believe the format on this website is extremely user-friendly and easily provides interested readers with information to fully understand the findings.
For an overview of the most salient findings, we encourage you to read the report found on the summary report page of this site. Comparative charts separate responses according to the primary demographics studied in the research. Those interactive charts are easily accessible on the parents voice their opinions page. The policy recommendations page provides a summary of sex education policy that is called for as a result of parents’ opinions. The FAQ page responds to general questions about the survey and abstinence education. Finally, if you agree that abstinence education should be a priority in sex education for your children, please go to the Sign Letter to Congress Voicing Your Support for Abstinence Education page and add your name to the letter that will be sent to Congress.