SEXUAL EDUCATION AND SEXUAL ACTIVITY OF STUDENTS BEFORE AND DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. A ROMANIAN-BULGARIAN QUALITATIVE COMPARATIVE STUDY
- sexual activity,
- sexual education,
- the story of life guideline,
- qualitative study
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Copyright (c) 2023 Psychological Research (in the Balkans)
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The purpose of the study was to identify changes occurring in the sexual activity of Bulgarian and Romanian students in relation to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to explore how respondents perceived sexual education they benefited from in the past. A self-reporting guideline was adapted right at beginning of the restrictions caused by the pandemic, in March 2020. The story of life guideline for a qualitative study was constructed as compressing 2 major categories of data: 7 items of socio-demographic information and 55 specific items on personal life, organized into age stages. Between May and December 2020 data were collected by e-mail from students between 19 and 25 years. As a first result of data collection, 102 stories were kept for deeper analyses, 50 from Romanian and 52 from Bulgarian BA and MA students, 64 girls and 38 boys. Small differences were found between Romanian and Bulgarian groups regarding the age of the first intercourse or the changes that appeared in sexual behavior in relation to the pandemic outbreak. More of the Bulgarian participants declared not having started a sexual life, and also more of the Bulgarian participants decided not to answer some of the sexuality items. The conclusions issued by the analyses of both groups showed the need for developing specific sexual education curricula, created and implemented by experts, starting with younger ages of pupils.
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