Knowledge about Reproductive and Sexual Health

Medically accurate knowledge about reproductive and sexual health has been found to relate to safer sexual behaviors and a reduced likelihood of pregnancy (Kirby, 2007). Reproductive health topics include human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse, menstruation, and fertility; and sexual health topics include practicing sexual abstinence, avoiding sexual risk behaviors, establishing and maintaining healthy relationships, and practicing safe sex (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007).

Individuals’ knowledge can be assessed with a knowledge test, such as a true/false quiz, or multiple-choice exam. Programs may want to set a benchmark for performance at a certain level (for example, participants are expected to score at least 95% by program exit), and then monitor performance on that indicator by comparing the percentage of participants who meet the benchmark at program intake with percentages obtained at later intervals. It is also meaningful to compare results for the current cohort with those of previous cohorts. 

If knowledge does not appear to be increasing at the individual or aggregate level after the first few sessions, program managers may want to assess problems related to program design, implementation, and quality.

By ChildTrends


Surveys / Assessments


Sources Cited

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). Health education curriculum analysis tool (HECAT). Atlanta, GA: Author. Retrieved from:

Kirby, D. (2007). Emerging Answers 2007: Research Findings on Programs to Reduce Teen Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Washington, DC: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.