Date of Award

2003

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Human Development

Advisor

Sandra L. Caron

Second Committee Member

Jodelle Austin

Third Committee Member

Mary Ellin Logue

Abstract

This study explores the extent to which early childhood understanding of conception and birth is increased by early sexuality education. The present study compares conception and birth understanding of primary-aged children in America with children in other countries. Specifically, this study compared prompted drawings done by 6 year-old children from England, Sweden, The Netherlands, and the United States. Prompts used to elicit these drawing were: "Where do babies come from?" and "How are babies made?" Controlled comparison data of the children's knowledge of conception and birth, were obtained through the application of the "Children's Sexuality Awareness Scale" (Koch 1974) and the "Origin of Babies Scale" (Goldman and Goldman (1982). The results of this study provide new information about how children think and process information about conception and birth. Findings support the importance of parents and educators providing children with comprehensive, age appropriate information about conception and birth. Implications for future research are discussed.

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