Sex education: findings from the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships Academic Article uri icon


  • In a national telephone-based survey, information on sexual behaviour and outcomes were collected from 20091 randomly selected Australians in 2012–13. Data were weighted and analysed to determine the proportion of those who had received school-based sex education and to examine the associations between sex education and sexual health outcomes, specifically a history of a sexually transmissible infection (STI), early pregnancy, contraception use at first sex, and level of STI knowledge. Just over half the respondents (53%; n = 19836) reported receiving sex education that included information about condoms and contraception. Using logistic regression analysis after adjusting for age, education and non-English-speaking background, we found that sex education was strongly associated with increased odds of using contraception at first vaginal intercourse (odds ratio (OR) = 1.57; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.44–1.71; P < 0.001) and higher levels of STI knowledge (OR = 1.75; 95% CI 1.46–2.12; P < 0.001).


  • Yeung, Anna
  • Aggleton, Peter
  • Richters, Juliet
  • Grulich, Andrew
  • De Visser, Richard
  • Simpson, Judy M
  • Rissel, Chris

publication date

  • 2017