By Allison Sadlier
New York office – 646-873-7565 /


Over half of women (56%) feel they were not given an adequate education when it comes to different types of birth control methods.

A new study of 2,000 women ages 18-50 examined the overall attitudes and emotions associated with sexual education and found that one in two felt they were improperly taught about sexual health. 

Forty-six percent revealed they never had a “sex talk” with either of their parents, and of those that did (38%), the average age was 12 years old. 

The survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the Paragard ® IUD found that 54% of those who had a parental sex talk, were given a book about bodily functions. 

A third (34%) of women who had a sex talk with their parents were shown an awkward video, while 46% said their parents used euphemisms to explain sex.

When it came to talk content, it varied. Three in five (61%) said their parents told them what sex was, but less than half (47%) were taught about birth control. 

Results also found sexual education in school was uneven seeing as 40% said a lack of education in school was a top contributor to their lack of sexual education. 

The average respondent had a sexual education class in ninth grade. Forty-four percent of respondents said they felt the awkward topic contributed to inadequacies in their education.

Other elements that played a role in sexual education gaps included religious reasons (42%), shame (36%), not knowing all the available options (34%). 

The knowledge rift in sexual education only seems to widen around birth control. Women 41-50 were 33% more likely to be taught about birth control by their parents than respondents 18-25.

Nearly one in five (19%) said they never learned about birth control at all, while only 16% said they were taught by their parents and 14% learned in school. 

The average respondent has changed birth control three times. 

Forty-one percent admitted they changed methods after receiving a recommendation from a friend, whereas only 38% took a recommendation from their doctor. A third even did their own research about available birth control forms. 

In spite of women starting to take charge of their sexual health, 69% did not know there is such a thing as prescription birth control that’s hormone free. 

Hormone-free birth control is something women seem open to exploring seeing as 58% would like to learn more. 


  1.     Sexually transmitted diseases          56%
  2.     Pregnancy and birth                         51% 
  3.     What is sex                                      50%
  4.     Sexual anatomy                               47%
  5.     Sexual orientations                          47%
  6.     Consent                                           30%


  1.     What is sex                                       60%
  2.     Pregnancy and birth                         59%
  3.     Sexual orientations                           57%
  4.     Birth control                                      48%
  5.     Sexual anatomy                               44%
  6.     Consent                                           41%
  7.     Sexually transmitted diseases         39%


  1.     I have never learned about birth control      19%
  2.     My parents                                                   16%
  3.     School                                                          14%
  4.     Friends                                                           9%
  5.     Internet                                                           8%
  6.     Family physician                                             8%
  7.     Extended family                                              7%
  8.     TV show/movie                                               7%
  9.     Magazine article                                              6%
  10.     A sibling                                                           4%

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