Effects of a gender-specific sexual health promotion program (‘female doctor’s lesson’) in schools

Effects of a gender-specific sexual health promotion program (‘female

doctor’s lesson’) in schools

C. Klapp (1,2), G. Gille (2), C. Thomas (3), I. Schönborn (1)

Department of Obstetrics, Charité Virchow Hospital, Humboldt University

of Berlin, Germany (1); Medical Association of Women’s Health Promotion, GGF

e.V. Düsseldorf, Germany (2); Research Unit Child and Adolescent Health, Robert

Koch Institute Berlin, Germany (3)

Introduction: Numbers of pregnancies and abortions in young girls –

particularly in very young girls from 10 to 14 years of age – have increased

rapidly since 1996. Girls in that age group seem to overestimate their knowledge

concerning sexuality, pregnancy and contraception as well as STDs. We deal with

a media-experienced generation, who has heard a lot but understood very few and

feel highly under pressure to have their own sexual experiences very early.

Aims and methods: 1.911 students grade 6 and grade 9/10 (aged 10 to

18) were randomized into intervention and control groups. The intervention group

attended a special ‘doctor’s lesson’ Pre (T1) and post (T3) intervention

questionnaires (T1-T3=2 weeks) combined 57 items covering actual knowledge, 62

items for actual feelings and attitudes and 14 epidemiologic items. After the

interventional lesson (T2) the students had to rate the comprehensibility and

usefulness of this lesson.

Results: At T 1, before intervention, we found large knowledge

deficiencies in both groups. Only 39% of the answers were correct. In 90%

comprehensibility and usefulness of the intervention was estimated as good and

very good. In grade 6 more than 50% of the girls didn’t know about the first

menstruation being connected to the possibility of getting pregnant. So did 25%

of the girls in grade 9/ 10. Two weeks after our interventional lesson 88% of

the younger and 91% of the older girls were able to answer the questions

properly. The same lack in general knowledge could be observed with respect to

topics like ‘morning after pill’s, ’menstruation’ and ‘sexually

transmitted diseases’. After a 90 minutes intervention, the overall increase

of knowledge was extremely high with 32% in grade 9/ 10 and 84% in grade 6.

Discussion: Age related medical information by female doctors for

female students – empathic, but competent – could improve the knowledge of

students effectively and could therefore play an important role in the promotion

of sexual health and primary prevention of pregnancy in young girls.

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