Sexual health education in the United States is inconsistent; information and methods vary from one location to another. Education plays a large role in developing safe sex practices, and despite the sexual education efforts, rates of sexually transmitted infections have risen for five consecutive years in the United States. A systematic literature review was conducted to determine the best methods for educating adolescents to promote behaviors to enhance sexual health. Multiple types of interventions have been studied including cognitive behavioral interventions, comprehensive sexual education, parent and teen dyad education, and abstinence only education. Sexual behavior is influenced by a variety of factors including individual environment, education, peer pressure, parental involvement, social situations, government and school policy, and many more. Abstinence education is a beneficial component of comprehensive sexual education, though it lacks the health information that an adolescent person needs. Comprehensive sexual education provides young people with the holistic knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values necessary to help them avoid negative consequences associated with sexuality. Adolescents have the right to medically accurate comprehensive sexual education beginning early in adolescence to build foundation for sexual health prior to the emergence of sexual intimacy. This education should be provided throughout the entirety of their education to solidify understanding and behavior to promote sexual health as adolescents prepare to enter adulthood.


Rhonda Cornell

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing


Allied Health and Nursing



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In Copyright