Sex education and contraceptive use at coital debut in the United States: Results from Cycle 6 of the National Survey of Family Growth

Michelle M. Isley, Alison Edelman, Bliss Kaneshiro, Dawn Peters, Mark D. Nichols, Jeffrey T. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Background: The study was conducted to characterize the relationship between formal sex education and the use and type of contraceptive method used at coital debut among female adolescents. Methods: This study employed a cross-sectional, nationally representative database (2002 National Survey of Family Growth). Contraceptive use and type used were compared among sex education groups [abstinence only (AO), birth control methods only (MO) and comprehensive (AM)]. Analyses also evaluated the association between demographic, socioeconomic, behavioral variables and sex education. Multiple logistic regression with adjustment for sampling design was used to measure associations of interest. Results: Of 1150 adolescent females aged 15-19 years, 91% reported formal sex education (AO 20.4%, MO 4.9%, AM 65.1%). The overall use of contraception at coitarche did not differ between groups. Compared to the AO and AM groups, the proportion who used a reliable method in the MO group (37%) was significantly higher (p=.03) (vs. 15.8% and 14.8%, respectively). Conclusions: Data from the 2002 NSFG do not support an association between type of formal sex education and contraceptive use at coitarche but do support an association between abstinence-only messaging and decreased reliable contraceptive method use at coitarche.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-242
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010



  • Adolescent
  • Coital debut
  • Contraceptive use
  • Sex education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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