Development and Validation of a Sex Education Scale
Sex education has generated much discussion in the literature. Views surrounding what type of curriculum should be taught vary widely, with 82% of Americans supporting programs teaching both abstinence and additional pregnancy-prevention methods. Instruments measuring knowledge about sexual health topics exist, but none measure how comfortable educators feel teaching topics related to sex and sexuality. The purpose of this study was the development and validation of items for the Sex Education Confidence Scale (SECS) for use with teacher preparation students and practicing teachers in health and physical education.
The generation of items for the Sex Education Confidence Scale (SECS) was determined by three separate domains: demographics, knowledge questions, and confidence questions. The SECS was administered to current and future teachers in health, physical education, and related fields. Participants were 325 volunteer adults from the United States. The responses primarily came from university faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and practitioners (teachers) whose job or education focused on health, physical education, or a closely related field.
Three scales emerged consisting of questions about knowledge, controversial topics, and other sexual activity. The scales were all highly positively correlated. Reliability estimates were strong for all three scales.
Overall the psychometrics of the SECS are quite sound, with evidence for internal structure demonstrated through strong factor loadings. Strong reliability estimates were evident on the three scales across a representative and diverse sample size. The SECS could be a valuable tool in screening school sex educators.
Sex education is a controversial topic in today’s society. Americans have a variety of views in regard to the type of curriculum taught, with 82%...