Improving research on parental involvement in sexuality education: Findings from the Irish Contraception and Crisis Pregnancy Survey – 2010

Sexuality education research has highlighted the importance of parental involvement2. Parents largely concur with the idea that they should play a fundamental role in their children’s sexuality education; indeed, 95% of parents in one national UK study felt that discussing contraception with their children was primarily their responsibility3. However, only 58% of those parents had actually done so, suggesting that these beliefs are not always reflected in practice3. Investigating sexuality education frequently occurs via national sexual health surveys. For example both the Irish Study on Sexual Health and Relationships4 and the UK National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles II5 included questions that asked participants about learning about sex when they were growing up. Understanding the factors that influence parents in engaging in sexuality education would benefit from advances in research design and methods.