The following resources below provide useful information gathered from a wide range of parent surveys and public opinion polls to gauge support for adolescent sexual health education.
Dispelling the Myth: What Parents Really Think about Sex Education in Schools (2011)
This survey of parents in Harris County, TX found that the majority of parents are in favor of sex education in schools, that it should begin in middle school, and that it should contain information on contraception in addition to abstinence.
Metro Teen AIDS & DC Healthy Youth Coalition Survey (2007)
This survey of parents in Washington, DC found that parents overwhelmingly supported comprehensive sex education that emphasizes abstinence but also teaches about condoms and other contraceptives. Parents reported that sex education in schools should begin by 6thgrade or earlier.
Culture Wars in the Classroom: Texas Voters Call for a Cease-Fire (2010)
This statewide poll of Texas voters found that 80% were in support of teaching about contraception, in addition to abstinence, in high school sex education classes. They also found that the majority of Hispanic parents were supportive (85%) of comprehensive sex education that includes teaching about condoms and other contraceptives as well as teaching about abstinence.
Parental Survey on Sex Education in Mississippi: Implications for House Bill No. 999
This survey found overwhelming support for age-appropriate sex education in public schools. The majority of respondents believed that sex education should begin in middle school, that curricula should be determined by public health professionals, and other various opinions related to sex education in public schools.
Support for Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Perspectives from Parents of School-Age Youth (2008)
This parent survey conducted in Minnesota from 2006-2007 found that almost 90% of parents were in favor of comprehensive sex education in which sex education would teach about both abstinence and contraception.
Sex Education in America: A Series of National Surveys of Students, Parents, Teachers, and Principals
These surveys found that parents of high school students overwhelmingly support sex education in schools. In addition, the surveys found that the vast majority of parents were in favor of sex education that promoted abstinence but also included information on topics such as birth control, sexual orientation, negotiation skills, and how to use condoms.
National Public Radio/Kaiser Family Foundation/Kennedy School of Government: Sex Education in America
This national survey found that parents largely support sex education in schools and that the topics covered in sex education should promote abstinence and also include topics such as birth control, sexual orientation, negotiation skills, and how to use condoms. The survey also found that principals reported minimal conflict or controversy over sex education in their communities but also minimal discussion about the topic.