The African-American church: A potential forum for adolescent comprehensive sexuality education

Academic Article


  • Purpose: To investigate the attitudes and beliefs of clergy from African-American churches towards sexuality education and the provision of sexuality education in their churches. Methods: A pilot study was designed to survey a convenience sample of clergy leaders from African-American churches about their young adolescent members. The survey asked about priority health topics, prevalence of sexual and drug risk behavior and the clergy's desire for health education programs. The churches were located in a county (1990 population approximately 200,000, 40% African-American) in the southeastern United States. Results: The respondents' highest priority issues were drugs, violence, HIV/AIDS, pregnancy and alcohol. Many (76%) had discussed one or more of these issues in church. All respondents wanted additional health seminars for their adolescents, though some clergy (30%) excluded some sexual topics (i.e., anal sex, bisexuality, homosexuality, masturbation, oral sex). Only 6% would make condoms available in their churches, but all would allow contraceptive education. Conclusions: Many African-American churches are open to including sexuality education among their health education offerings for young adolescents. The church should be considered as a potential forum for providing comprehensive sexuality education for African-American adolescents. Copyright (C) 2000 Society for Adolescent Medicine.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 430799
  • Author List

  • Coyne-Beasley T; Schoenbach VJ
  • Start Page

  • 289
  • End Page

  • 294
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 4