Americans, Britons and Canadians Disagree on Sex Education

By: Angus Reid Public Opinion

[NEW YORK – Nov. 30, 2011] – People in the United States, Britain and Canada hold differing views on the topics that should be addressed in sex education courses at school, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of representative national samples, a majority of respondents in the three countries believe the parents or guardians should be primarily responsible for teaching sex education to children and teens. Two thirds of Canadians (69%) and Britons (67%) agree with this notion, as well as four-in-five Americans (81%).

When to Start Teaching Sex Education

Canada is definitely different from the United States and Britain on the question of when to start sex education in school. While only 13 per cent of Americans and 17 per cent of Britons would begin these courses at age 9 or earlier, one-in-four Canadians (24%) believe this is the ideal age to begin. About a third of respondents in the three countries believe the best time to start teaching sex education at school is between the ages of 12 and 13.

Almost one-in-ten Americans (9%) believe that schools should not teach sex education to students—a view shared by only three per cent of Canadians and two per cent of Britons.
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