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Sexual Education in Schools in Portugal: Evaluation of a 3 Years Period

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DOI: 10.4236/ce.2014.515154    2,935 Downloads   3,287 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Sexual education is crucial for reducing sexual risk behaviors (or at least not to enable their increase). The goal of this study was to evaluate the implementation of sexual education in schools. For the quantitative study, all schools (clustered in Schools Organic Units—SOUs) in mainland Portugal were invited to participate. Study 1—A total of 428 school principals, 424 coordinating teachers of health education, belonging to 428 Organic Units (OU), which correspond to 53% of the Portuguese public SOU, corresponding to 617,701 students and 60,595 teachers participated in the quantitative study. Study 2—For the qualitative study, interviews were conducted. Analysis of the results of both studies emphasized that Law n.° 60/2009 (6th August) is being fulfilled with regard to the implementation of sexual education as well as the number of hours established for its implementation. In general the SOUs organized an office that provides information and support for students and manages its functioning. The implementation of the Law is, overall, ranked as good/very good (83.7%). However, during the qualitative study, school principals and teachers emphasize that SOUs are making a huge effort to implement the Law, some of them questioning their ability to continue this process due to the present conditions. Principals and teachers reported the need to “revitalize” this area, underlining the need to maintain the Law and one annual “Call” from which the Ministry of Education and Science receives proposals for funding schools for projects in the area of health promotion, and teacher training.

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Matos, M. , Reis, M. , Ramiro, L. , Ribeiro, J. and Leal, I. (2014) Sexual Education in Schools in Portugal: Evaluation of a 3 Years Period. Creative Education, 5, 1353-1362. doi: 10.4236/ce.2014.515154.

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