A quasi-experimental study on the effectiveness of a standardized comprehensive sexuality education curriculum for primary school students

Kai WANG, Siwei XU, Zongchao LIU, Wen WANG, Jiayi HEE, Kun TANG

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Although the importance of sexuality education has been recognized, Chinese rural students have limited access to sexual and reproductive information. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a standardized comprehensive sexuality education curriculum package featuring cartoon animation on sexuality-related knowledge and skills, attitudes, and practices of primary school students. 

Methods: This quasi-experimental study recruited 1725 students in grades 4–6 (aged 9–13) from eight primary schools sampled as school clusters in 2020 in China. Internet-based questionnaires from three intervention schools' participants were collected after trained schoolteachers had conducted six 45-min sexuality education sessions. We performed optimal full matching and treatment effects were estimated in the matched sample by outcome regression models that further adjusted the covariates. 

Results: Compared with the control group, intervention group students achieved significantly higher scores by 3.35 out of 38 and 2.02 out of 34 in knowledge- and skill-based tests and attitudinal tests, respectively. For the five self-reported practices on genital care, the experimental group showed significantly better performance than the control group in genital hygiene, by 6.92%, 22.45%, and 30.66% higher rates in the overall prevalence of three proper practices of genital hygiene, with effect sizes larger for boys than girls. 

Conclusions: Our sexuality education package effectively improved primary school students' sexuality-related knowledge, skills, attitudes, and hygiene practices. Our study suggests that the standardized curriculum package could be a promising approach to improving the quality and accessibility of sexuality education in underdeveloped rural China. Copyright © 2023 Foundation for Professionals in Services to Adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1666-1677
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume95
Issue number8
Early online dateAug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Citation

Wang, K., Xu, S. S., Liu, Z., Wang, W., Hee, J., & Tang, K. (2023). A quasi-experimental study on the effectiveness of a standardized comprehensive sexuality education curriculum for primary school students. Journal of Adolescence, 95(8), 1666-1677. https://doi.org/10.1002/jad.12235

Keywords

  • Comprehensive sexuality education
  • Genital hygiene
  • Primary school
  • Propensity score matching
  • Rural China

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