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Sex Education in the Public Schools: A Discriminant Analysis of Characteristics of Pro and Anti Individuals
E. R. Mahoney
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 15, No. 4 (Nov., 1979), pp. 264-275
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3812387
Page Count: 12
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A modified probability sample of adults in the United States in 1977 was used to examine factors related to attitude toward sex education in the public schools. On the basis of previous research and statements of prominent anti-sex-education advocates, it was predicted that pro- and anti-sex-education individuals would differ in political orientation, religious orientation, attitude toward the traditional family, premarital sexual values, attitudes toward women's roles, age, social class, gender, and attitudes toward education in general. The ability of these variables to distinguish between pro- and anti-sex-education subsamples was examined through discriminant analysis. The results suggest that political liberalism-conservatism, a right-wing political view, religious liberalism-conservatism, and age are not important discriminating characteristics. Rather, pro- and anti-sex-education subsamples were most clearly distinguished on the factors of having a traditional orientation toward the family, women's roles, and premarital sexual behavior. These important distinguishing characteristics suggest that attitude toward sex education has more to do with views of the role of women, family, and sexuality than with political-religious views, a reasonable expectation given the traditional linkage of these three aspects of American society.
The Journal of Sex Research © 1979 Taylor & Francis, Ltd.