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Public expectations concerning confidentiality protection of adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health care in Lithuania: Findings of the surveys conducted in 2005 and 2012.
European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care. 2014 Apr; 19(2):102-107.OBJECTIVE: An adolescent's right to confidential healthcare is protected by international law and professional consensus. However, parental and social support for confidential sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, in particular, varies greatly. This study documents Lithuanian residents' expectations with regard to confidentiality protection for adolescents in this domain, and explores the factors related to the diversity of these expectations. METHODS: Two national surveys of Lithuanian residents completed in 2005 and 2012 using anonymous questionnaires. Participants rated their expectations for confidentiality using a five-point Likert scale for eight types of SRH consultations. RESULTS: Public anticipation for confidentiality depended on whether issues related to sexual behaviour or to its consequences were addressed during adolescent consultation. Only younger respondents had higher expectations for confidentiality in both contexts. Public expectations regarding confidentiality were less demanding in 2012 than in 2005. CONCLUSIONS: The expectation of confidentiality protection was greater for topics related to sexual behaviour than for the consequences of sexual behaviour, such as pregnancy, abortion or a sexually transmitted infection. This implies a need for targeted information strategies for the general population and explicit guidance for physicians on when and for whom care should remain confidential.
Social Indicators Research. 2015 Jun 13;South Africa has one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world, emphasising the right to reproductive choice, in keeping with the country’s post-apartheid emphasis on human rights. Access to abortion may also be considered a public health consideration, due to the large number of complications associated with illegal abortions and the associated burden of care. Despite these justifications for a more permissive stance towards abortion, there remain large segments of South African society who are opposed to termination of pregnancy on request. This paper examines the status of reproductive rights in South Africa before looking more closely at public attitudes towards them in the country’s largest city-region. It uses survey data considering attitudes towards abortion as well as the interaction of these attitudes with the variables of race, gender, education level and age using multinomial logistic regression. The results indicate that the largest proportion of respondents oppose abortion absolutely, while a smaller proportion would be open to abortion if the mother’s life is in danger or if the pregnancy was a result of rape. Throughout, the smallest proportion of respondents was of the view that abortion on request is a human right. In terms of predictive value, educational attainment was a stronger predictor than age, race or gender, though there is a distinct lack of consistency in predictive validity of all factors, demonstrating the significant gap between the liberality of laws and the conservatism of public attitudes.
Global Public Health. 2015; 10(3):354-365.Nigeria views the HIV self-test (HIVST) as a possible mechanism to help increase HIV testing uptake and capture otherwise undiagnosed HIV cases. The purpose of this survey was to obtain perspectives of informed members of the Nigerian public on the use of the HIVST. A convenience sample of 1712 researchers, academics, journalists, community advocates, activists and HIV policy-makers and programmers including those working in the development sectors enlisted on the New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society listserv were sent a brief survey. Respondents were asked to provide a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response to an enquiry if they support the introduction of HIVST into Nigeria. Reasons for their response were also recorded. Information was collected anonymously with no identifiers. Only 157 (9.2%) provided a response. While the majority (54.8%) supported the introduction of HIVST, a significant number of respondents were concerned about possible risk associated with self-testing, especially suicide and partner violence. Others were concerned about poor linkages to care. Introduction of HIVST would need to be paired with intense media campaigns and education about its use. Once Nigeria commences HIVST, efforts should also focus on approaches to reach people in hard to reach areas of the country.
Global Public Health. 2014; 9(1-2):224-48.As a result of massive scale-up efforts in developing countries, millions of people living with HIV are now receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, countries have been uneven in their scale-up efforts with ART coverage rates exceeding expectations in some places and lagging behind expectation in others. This paper develops a model that explains ART scale-up as a function of the responsiveness of political parties to their primary constituents. Specifically, the paper argues that, faced with a perilous 'threat to the nation', countries responded in one of two ways, both of which were designed to appeal to their primary constituents--either adopting a 'Geneva Consensus' response, or depicting the epidemic as a Western disease and adopting a 'pan-African' response. The article tests this theory using Afrobarometer data for eleven countries. The paper finds that HIV/AIDS is generally a non-partisan issue in most countries. However, the analysis does uncover some differences in partisan support for HIV/AIDS responses in both countries that have adopted Geneva Consensus and pan-African responses, though not in the direction hypothesised. The lack of congruence in policy preferences between the public and their governments suggests a democratic deficit in that these governments have acted independently of the preferences of core constituents.
Public opinion about abortion-related stigma among Mexican Catholics and implications for unsafe abortion.
International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 2012 Sep; 118 Suppl 2:S160-6.A nationally representative survey was conducted among 3000 Catholics in Mexico during 2009 and 2010. Respondents were presented with a hypothetical situation about a young woman who decided to have an abortion and were asked their personal opinion of her. On the basis of a stigma index, it was found that the majority (61%) had stigmatizing attitudes about abortion; however, 81% believed that abortion should be legal in at least some circumstances. Respondents were significantly more likely to stigmatize abortion if they disagreed with the Mexico City law legalizing the procedure (odds ratio 1.66; 95% CI, 1.30-2.11) and believed that abortion should be prohibited in all cases (odds ratio 3.13; 95% CI, 2.28-4.30). Such stigma can lead women to seek unsafe abortions to avoid judgment by society. Copyright (c) 2012 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Social Science and Medicine. 2012 Jan; 74(1):52-7.Based on data from Afrobarometer's 2008-2009 public opinion surveys in 20 sub-Saharan African states, this article examines the extent of support for government AIDS policies. While many international and nongovernmental organizations have criticized African governments for failing to implement comprehensive HIV/AIDS policies, survey data shows that citizens have generally positive assessments of their governments' responses. The findings demonstrate that support for a government's AIDS policies arises less from demographic characteristics and more from experiences with and perceptions of the government's capabilities. In particular, those in better economic circumstances and those who approve of the president's job performance show particularly strong support for their government's AIDS policies. This may suggest that leaders are exhibiting the political will necessary to implement holistic AIDS policies and receiving support for them, but it may also suggest respondents are not differentiating between support for the government as a whole and support for particular policy areas. Copyright (c) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Public opinion as leadership disincentive: exploring a governance dilemma in the AIDS response in Africa.
Contemporary Politics. 2012 Jun; 18(2):174-185.There is increasing emphasis in global declaration on the need to get politics right in the response to AIDS, particularly in terms of strengthening accountable leadership. However, in the worst affected countries in sub-Saharan Africa, such governance prescriptions introduce political concerns that are not well understood. In a context of the neo-patrimonial governance that characterises African democracies, the paper analyses data from the Afrobarometer on public opinions on AIDS in 20 countries to identify and explore the governance dilemma that leaders face when they are expected to show strong leadership on an issue that is low on the public political agenda. By identifying country-level correlates and individual-level determinants of the strong opinion on AIDS that is held by a minority, the paper suggests how public opinion for an effective response can be mobilised in ways that are politically sustainable.
Keep talking about it: HIV/AIDS-related communication and prior HIV testing in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Thailand.
AIDS and Behavior. 2009 Dec; 13(6):1213-21.Informal, interpersonal communication within a community about HIV and AIDS, or lack of such communication, may influence community members' uptake of voluntary counseling and testing. Drawing from Noelle-Neumann's spiral of silence theory, this study examined the association between communication about HIV/AIDS and prior HIV testing in communities in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Thailand. Participants (N = 14,818) in 48 communities across five sites throughout the four countries completed a behavioral survey assessing communication, prior voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) uptake, social norms, stigma, and sexual risk. Site-specific logistic regression models demonstrated that frequent conversations about HIV were significantly associated with prior HIV testing at every site. Odds ratios for each site ranged from 1.885 to 3.085, indicating a roughly doubled or tripled chance of past VCT uptake. Results indicate that verbal communication may be an important mechanism for increasing health behaviors and inclusion in future interventions should be considered.
Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2009 Feb; 85(1):65-69.Objectives: To design and assess HIV and homosexuality related stigma scales in a developing world context. Methods: A respondent-driven sampling survey was conducted among 351 men who have sex with men (MSM) in Shenzhen, China. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to examine and determine the latent factors of stigma subscales. Results: Factor analyses identified three subscales associated with homosexuality and HIV stigma: public homosexual stigma (10 items), self homosexual stigma (8 items) and public HIV stigma (7 items). There were no items with cross-loadings onto multiple factors, supporting the distinctness of the constructs that these scales were meant to measure. The fit indices in confirmatory factor analysis provide evidence for the hypothesised three-factor structure of associations (the x2/degree ratio=1.84, CFI=0.91, RMSEA=0.05 and SRMR=0.05). Reliability of the three scales was excellent (Cronbach's alpha: 0.78-0.85) and stable across split samples and for the data as a whole. Conclusions: The selection of three latent factors was supported by both psychometric properties and theories of stigmatisation. The scales are brief and suitable for use in developing countries where less time-consuming measurement is preferable.
Are country reputations for good and bad leadership on AIDS deserved? An exploratory quantitative analysis.
Journal of Public Health. 2008 Dec; 30(4):398-406.Some countries (e.g. Brazil) have good reputations on AIDS policy, whereas others, (notably South Africa) have been criticized for inadequate leadership. Cross-country regression analysis reveals that these 'poster children' for AIDS leadership have indeed performed better or worse than expected given their economic and institutional constraints and the demographic and health challenges facing them. Regressions were run on HAART coverage (number on highly active antiretroviral therapy as percentage of total need) and MTCTP coverage (pregnant HIV+ women accessing mother-to-child-transmission prevention services as percentage of total need). Brazil, Cambodia, Thailand and Uganda (all of whom have established reputations for good leadership on AIDS performed consistently better than expected-as did Burkina-Faso, Suriname, Paraguay Costa Rica, Mali and Namibia. South Africa, which has the worst reputation for AIDS leadership, performed significantly below expectations-as did Uruguay and Trinidad and Tobago. The paper thus confirms much of the conventional wisdom on AIDS leadership at country level and suggests new areas for research.
Social Science and Medicine. 2008 Dec; 67(12):2126-34.We examine responses to the roll-out of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in Zambia in 2004, focusing on material features of the drugs (colour, shape, size, origin), 'spoiling' (concern about toxicity, side effects of the drugs) and rumours ('talk' about the drugs). Data consists of interviews with 10 people living with HIV and 21 healthcare practitioners. We found that the colour symbolism of 'traditional medicine' has some influence on ideas about ARVs, suggesting possible 'meaning responses' that could affect treatment outcomes. Respondents also become concerned when colours, shapes and side effects differ from expectations. 'Talk' about ARVs concerns risks of medication, sustainability of treatment programmes and people's feelings of vulnerability within larger socio-economic contexts in which countries like Zambia are disadvantaged. Understanding the associations that pharmaceuticals evoke can improve treatment programmes by elucidating public and patient concerns and sensitising healthcare professionals to the historical and political circumstances that condition the 'meaning' of ARVs.
Pharmacovigilance of antimalarial treatment in Uganda: community perceptions and suggestions for reporting adverse events.
Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2008 Sep; 13(9):1143-52.OBJECTIVES: The deployment of new antimalarials in Africa provides an important opportunity to develop systems for pharmacovigilance. To inform strategies for reporting adverse events in Uganda, we investigated local perceptions and experiences with antimalarial treatment, and evaluated existing and potential systems for pharmacovigilance. METHODS: Focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted with community members and health workers from urban and rural Uganda exploring knowledge of fever/malaria, perceptions and expectations of treatment, understanding of adverse effects, and experiences with adverse events. Sessions were recorded, transcribed into English, and analysed using a coding scheme developed from pre-defined topics together with themes emerging from the data. RESULTS: Between April and July 2006, we conducted 25 FGDs; 16 with community members and nine with health workers. All respondents had extensive experience with malaria and its treatment. Community members commonly recognized adverse effects of antimalarial therapy. However, events were uncommonly reported, and certain events were often interpreted as signs of successful treatment. Community members often felt that the costs of reporting or seeking additional care outweighed the potential benefits. Health workers were unfamiliar with formal pathways for reporting, and were deterred by the additional work of reporting and fear of incrimination. Respondents provided suggestions for incentives and methods of reporting, emphasizing that pharmacovigilance should ideally encompass the public and private sector, and the community. CONCLUSIONS: To be successful, pharmacovigilance relying on voluntary reporting will require active participation of patients and health workers. Addressing the costs and benefits of reporting, and providing sensitization, training and feedback will be important.
A community-based bacteriological study of quality of drinking-water and its feedback to a rural community in western Maharashtra, India.
Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition. 2008 Jun; 26(2):139-150.A longitudinal study of the bacteriological quality of rural water supplies was undertaken for a movement towards self-help against diseases, such as diarrhoea, and improved water management through increased community participation. Three hundred and thirteen water samples from different sources, such as well, tank, community standpost, handpumps, percolation lakes, and streams, and from households were collected from six villages in Maharashtra, India, over a one-year period. Overall, 49.8% of the 313 samples were polluted, whereas 45.9% of the samples from piped water supply were polluted. The quality of groundwater was generally good compared to open wells. Irregular and/or inadequate treatment of water, lack of drainage systems, and domestic washing near the wells led to deterioration in the quality of water. No major diarrhoeal epidemics were recorded during the study, although a few sporadic cases were noted during the rainy season. As a result of a continuous feedback of bacteriological findings to the community, perceptions of the people changed with time. An increased awareness was observed through active participation of the people cutting across age-groups and different socioeconomic strata of the society in village activities. (author's)
Demographic Research. 2008 Jul 1; 19(13):361-402.This chapter provides a detailed description of the fertility changes in Bulgaria during recent decades and discusses possible reasons and consequences. It also gives an overview of the steps that the government has undertaken to offset the considerable decline in fertility. Before the fall of communism, fertility trends in Bulgaria were stable and characterized by a nearly universal entry into parenthood, dominance of a two-child family model, an early start and early end of childbearing, stable mean ages at entry into childbearing and marriage, and low percentages of non-marital births. During the 1990s and in the first years of the new century, we observe a marked, rapid change in fertility behaviour. Together with the severe decline in overall fertility rates, demographic data reveal a significant postponement of entry into motherhood and marriage, a decline of the two-child family model, and an emergence of new family forms. Most research attributes these changes to the particular political and social situation in Bulgaria since 1989. (author's)
Fertility concern in Finland and Russia: Economic thinking and ideal family size in the rhetoric of population polices.
Finnish Yearbook of Population Research. 2008; 43:63-84.This article deals with fertility concern in Russian and Finnish population policies. The article points out that some commonly known discourses are persistently used as arguments in fertility-related population policies. In Finland, these include, for instance, discourses on "ageing nation" and "economic competitiveness". Russian policymakers use a "crisis discourse" that consists of three sub-discourses: "demographic crisis", "reproductive health in crisis" and "family crisis". The Russian government implements pronatalist population policies, whereas Finnish authorities hesitate to use the term "population policy" because of its emphasis on reproductive rights on the one hand, and the negative associations of population policy on the other. Russia has both population and family programs, as well as a new law with a specifically pronatalist emphasis. Conversely, Finland uses family policy as a tool of population policy. (author's)
Johannesburg, South Africa, Gender Links, 2008. 100 p.This report is part of Mirror on the Media series of monitoring reports coordinated by GL with the support of the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA) on gender and the media. Previous studies include: Gender and Advertising in Southern Africa; Who talks on radio talk shows and Who makes the news, an analysis of the 2005 Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) results in Southern Africa. The study focused on gender and tabloids in three Southern African countries with the highest density of tabloids, defined both in terms of size and content. It included monitoring of three newspapers in each country over the month of June 2007. The monitoring covered a total of 2546 news items: 859 in Mauritius; 1203 in South Africa and 484 in Tanzania (where tabloids are much fewer pages than in the other countries). Researchers also conducted desk top research; interviewed editors; gathered case material and administered an audience survey to 280 readers in the three countries. (excerpt)
[Unpublished] 2007. Presented at the International Marketing Conference on Marketing and Society, Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK), April 8-10, 2007.  p.Reducing the number of children affected by polio from 1000 per day to around 4 per day is not a small feat by any standard only if, we hadn't decided to eradicate polio and, it wasn't six year since the target for eradication was set. Since the WHA resolution of 1988, globally over USD 4 billion has been spent, more than 10 million volunteers has administered around 10 billion polio doses in hundreds of National and supplementary immunization days (NIDs and SNIDs) across the world. The initial few years in eradication were, undoubtedly, remarkable with countries and continents being freed from the infection and disease. Although, the eradication target of year 2000 could not be achieved, but it was never far from sight till, vaccination activities were stopped in Nigeria in 2003. Situation created by the resulting outbreaks there and, following importation of the wild polio virus (WPV) to other countries changed the eradication scenario, in spite of the many efforts; this spread of polio could still not be halted on time. Even in 2006, some pockets of WPV i.e. one in Moradabad, India and some other in Kano, Nigeria are cause of concern for eradication experts as it is clear now that polio will not be eradicated before year 2007. Back in 1988, no one had envisaged that polio eradication will be this difficult. The explanation for current outbreak is being given by 'four year cycle' of return of polio as even earlier in 1998 and 2002, there were outbreaks. Situation in Nigeria and India are suggestive that it will take at least one year before Polio is eradicated. The hope goes down as the number of cases goes up in 2006 than last 3 year. India has reported the highest number of cases in last 4 years. Much of the debate is going on the strategy followed to eradicate polio out of world. (excerpt)
Differential community response to introduction of zinc for childhood diarrhea and combination therapy for malaria in southern Mali.
Journal of Nutrition. 2008 Mar; 138:642-645.Developing effective, affordable, and sustainable delivery strategies for the isolated low-income populations that stand to gain the most from micronutrient interventions has proven difficult. We discuss our experience with implementation of zinc as treatment for diarrhea in children less than 5 y of age over the course of 3 operational research studies in rural Sikasso Region, Mali, West Africa. The initial formative research study highlighted how malaria affects perceptions of diarrhea and its causes and that malaria and diarrhea are not necessarily viewed as distinct conditions. The second-phase pilot introduction demonstrated that, in introducing zinc treatment in malaria-endemic regions, it is especially important that both community and facility-level providers be trained to manage sick children presenting with multiple symptoms. The third-phase study on large-scale implementation detected that the experience with implementation of new treatments for malaria is distinct from that of diarrhea. To some extent zinc treatment is the solution to a problem that communities may not recognize at all. Interventions to improve case management of sick children must be integrated across diseases and nutritional problems at both the facility and community levels. Operational research can identify points where integration should occur and how it should be carried out. Programs targeting single diseases or single nutritional problems can have a variety of deleterious effects on health systems, no matter how well they are planned. (author's)
Population Review. 2007; 46(2): p.How does population size affect social life? In accord with Durkheim's classic argument about the shift from the rigid "mechanical" solidarity of small societies to the more differentiated and interdependent "organic" solidarity of large societies, data from 30 nations and 19,568 respondents shows that the citizenry of large societies prefer more inequality in earnings than do citizens of small societies, net of the level of economic development. One reason for this is that citizens of large countries support larger rewards for education and occupational success. In most societies, the actual level of inequality is close to the ideal level, or a little higher. Data are from the World Inequality Study, which pools data from many excellent international survey projects; analysis is by OLS and multi-level regression. (author's)
Population Briefs. 2007 Dec; 13(3):5.In April 2007, Mexico City's legislative assembly voted to liberalize abortion law to permit the interruption of pregnancy in the first trimester. The city is a federal district-similar to Washington, DC-and has a state-like autonomy. The law is in place only in Mexico City; Mexico's states still have restrictive abortion laws. The Council's research and collaboration with local nongovernmental organizations, universities, professional associations, and the Mexican government helped bring about this groundbreaking legislation. "The Population Council's research findings on abortion in Latin America have been used by government officials and women's rights advocacy groups to shape evidence-based policies, including the recent change in abortion law in Mexico City," says Sandra G. Garcia, the Council's director of reproductive health for Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2007, Garcia was honored as a recipient of the Guttmacher Institute's Darroch Award for Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research. She was cited for "research documenting abortion-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices in Mexico" that "played an important role in the...recent decision to legalize first-trimester abortion." (excerpt)
Culture, Health and Sexuality. 2007 Jul-Aug; 9(4):403-414.This paper examines teenage pregnancy as a social-historical construction of increasing concern in Brazil. It presents findings from over five years of empirical research alongside an analysis of a sample of newspaper articles representative of the dominant positions in the Brazilian press concerning teenage pregnancy. In contrast to mainstream arguments and to broader moral panic surrounding teenage pregnancy, we argue that contemporary patterns of sexual behaviour among young people in Brazil do not signal growing permissiveness and are not straightforwardly related to poverty, family dysfunction or lack of life projects on the part of young people themselves. On the contrary, early pregnancy and parenthood retain strong continuities with core Brazilian values and norms of sexual culture. (author's)
Is it all in a word? The effect of issue framing on public support for U.S. spending on HIV / AIDS in developing countries.
Harvard International Journal of Press / Politics. 2007; 12(2):120-132.The frequency of government foreign aid decisions influenced by pubic opinion has risen dramatically in the past few years. This study looks at the effect of issue framing on support for U.S. spending on HIV/AIDS in developing countries-specifically, at how support changes when the phrase foreign aid is included or omitted from a survey question. Analyses reveal a significant effect of issue framing for women and Democrats. Omitting the phrase foreign aid is associated with increased support for U.S. spending among Democrats and decreased support among women. Regardless of issue framing, blacks, Hispanics, and more educated individuals support U.S. spending on HIV/AIDS in developing countries. However, when forced to decide between funds' going overseas for HIV/AIDS in developing countries or remaining in the United States, all respondents overwhelmingly support monies' being used in the United States. (author's)
Comparison of knowledge, attitudes, experience, and opinions between teachers and guardians regarding the emergency contraceptive pill in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Nursing and Health Sciences. 2006 Mar; 8(1):27-35.Teachers and guardians (parents or authorized persons) are expected to collaborate in educating female students about emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) but it is unknown whether they have similar perspectives on ECPs. This study aimed to compare their knowledge, attitudes, experience, and opinions regarding ECPs. Questionnaires were distributed to 720 female teachers and guardians of eight randomly selected high schools and vocational schools in Chiang Mai, Thailand. There were significantly more teachers who knew about the existence of ECPs than guardians. More guardians reported some accurate information regarding ECPs than did teachers. More teachers than guardians believed that the use of ECPs was not morally wrong. Both teachers and guardians had similar experience with ECP use and similar agreement in teaching female adolescents about ECPs. The teachers and guardians had some different opinions on teaching barriers. It is suggested that both teachers and guardians are suited to teach female adolescents about ECPs, but they need preparation in different aspects. (author's)
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2006 Nov; 160(11):1151-1156.The objective was to examine US public opinion on sex education in schools to determine how the public's preferences align with those of policymakers and research scientists. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: July 2005 through January 2006. Participants: Randomly selected nationally representative sample of US adults aged 18 to 83 years (N=1096). Main Outcome Measures: Support for 3 different types of sex education in schools: abstinence only, comprehensive sex education, and condom instruction. Approximately 82% of respondents indicated support for programs that teach students about both abstinence and other methods of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Similarly, 68.5% supported teaching how to properly use condoms. Abstinence-only education programs, in contrast, received the lowest levels of support (36%) and the highest level of opposition (about 50%) across the 3 program options. Self-identified conservative, liberal, and moderate respondents all supported abstinence-plus programs, although the extent of support varied significantly. Our results indicate that US adults, regardless of political ideology, favor a more balanced approach to sex education compared with the abstinence-only programs funded by the federal government. In summary, abstinence-only programs, while a priority of the federal government, are supported by neither a majority of the public nor the scientific community. (author's)
Comprehensive sex education: strong public support and persuasive evidence of impact, but little funding.
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2006 Nov; 160(11):1182-1184.The article by Bleakley et al strong evidence that a very large majority of adults in this country supports comprehensive sex education programs that teach about abstinence and also other methods of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, whereas only a minority of adults supports the teaching of only abstinence. These results build on numerous somewhat similar surveys that have been conducted for decades demonstrating such support. Indeed, as long ago as 1943, the Gallup Poll found that 68% of adults approved of sex education in schools. By 1985, that support had increased to 85%. Furthermore, for decades these polls have demonstrated that adults want the instruction to include both abstinence and condoms and other methods of contraception. Notably, this support is not limited to only certain parts of the country; similar polls in more conservative southern states, such as North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, have demonstrated strong support for programs that encourage abstinence but also encourage the use of condoms and other contraceptives among those who do have sex. (excerpt)