San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

School Dropouts Lack Sex Education

A study of the opinions and knowledgeof adolescents not attending schooland their parents on the topic of reproductivehealth and sexual education concludedthat the information young people haveis “general, very basic, pragmatic andfocused on the use of prophylactics morethan anything – the use of condoms,”according to Jorge Sanabria, theresearcher in charge of the study.The preteens and teens interviewedfor the study said home is the mostappropriate place to learn about sexualand reproductive health. They also saidthey do not feel safe addressing thesetopics in their homes, according to astatement announcing the study results.The parents interviewed described theirchildren as irresponsible and said informationon the subject of sex could leadthem astray.The study was carried out betweenOctober and December 2004 and surveyedyouth from rural and urban zonesacross the country, between the ages 12-19, who don’t attend school, as well astheir parents. It is the first part of a projectsponsored by the United NationsPopulation Fund and carried out by theUniversity of Costa Rica (UCR) with theintention of finding alternative models forsexual and reproductive education for preteenand teen dropouts.

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