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Abstract

Invited commentary on Dispelling the Myth: What Parents Really Think about Sex Education in Schools

Key Take Away Points

  • Parental support is strong for evidence-based sex education in schools
  • Similar findings are evident across a variety of studies
  • Assertions of widespread parental opposition to sex education are unsupported by evidence

Author Biography

Michael D. Resnick, PhD, FSAHM, is Professor of Pediatrics, Public Health, and Nursing and holds the Gisela and E.Paul Konopka Chair in Adolescent Health and Development at the University of Minnesota. As director of Minnesota’s long-standing Leadership Education in Adolescent Health pre- and post-doctoral interdisciplinary fellowship program and director of the university’s Healthy Youth Development Prevention Research Center, he has advised and mentored the careers of hundreds of graduate and post-graduate learners across multiple disciplines. He has served as Principal Investigator for numerous adolescent health grants focused on sexual behaviors and outcomes; violence prevention, and school disconnection. He has served as a scientific advisor and grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as for national science institutes in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Switzerland. He has developed and advanced the use of many adolescent health survey measures of protective/resiliency factors that have been incorporated into national surveys of youth in North America, South America, Europe and Oceania. His interdisciplinary colleagues and students have developed and refined conceptual frameworks for identifying and understanding critical protective factors and the mechanisms by which these buffer young people from involvement in an array of health-jeopardizing behaviors and adverse outcomes, including sexual risk taking, violence perpetration and school drop-out. His extensive scholarly publications as well as presentation of adolescent health research to the White House and the US Congress reflect his long-standing commitment to both scholarly inquiry as well as the promotion of applied understandings around meeting the complex needs of young people with particular vulnerabilities.

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A Response To:

Dispelling the Myth: What Parents Really Think about Sex Education in Schools by Susan R. Tortolero, Kimberly Johnson, Melissa Peskin, Paula M. Cuccaro, Christine Markham, Belinda F. Hernandez, Robert C. Addy, Ross Shegog, and Dennis H. Li.