Understanding African American youth and adult perspectives on sex education in rural North Carolina.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

African American youth in the US rural South are at elevated risk for poor sexual health outcomes, including sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy. Historically, the southeastern USA has lagged behind in providing comprehensive sexuality-based education in secondary school, which may contribute to poor reproductive and sexual health outcomes. This study aims to understand the perspectives of African American youth and adults on comprehensive sexuality-based education in rural North Carolina. Twenty-four individuals (12 youth and 12 adults) participated in both semi-structured interviews and small discussion groups. Data were analysed and coded using inductive and deductive approaches to thematic analysis. Results indicated that comprehensive sexuality-based education was highly desirable; however, current efforts were viewed as insufficient. While both young people and adults agreed that abstinence was the most desirable path for youth, participants also acknowledged young people's autonomy in engaging in sexual activity and suggested that comprehensive sexuality-based education was needed to protect against unintended consequences. The findings of this study have practical implications for addressing challenges associated with providing sexuality-based education to African American youth in rural communities and offers suggestions regarding directions for future research.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ritchwood, TD; Luque, JS; Coakley, TM; Wynn, M; Corbie-Smith, G

Published Date

  • 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 612 - 626

PubMed ID

  • 33762889

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7985845

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1468-1811

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/14681811.2019.1708715


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England