Document Type

DNP - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Robin Arends


Introduction: Developing intimate relationships are a normal part of transitioning through development. The United States continues to see increasing numbers of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), mostly in adolescents and young adults. Initiation of comprehensive sexual health education in schools can help protect young adolescents by arming them with information to make informed choices and reduce exposure risk to STIs/STDs.
Methods: The review of literature focused on impacts that positively affected adolescents and their ability to competently protect themselves and others following sex education. Databases searched included PubMed, Medline, PLOS ONE, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Google Scholar. Following a review of literature, four themes emerged including STIs/STDs, STIs and adolescents, curriculum recommendations, and safer sex practices.
Gaps: There is a lack of adolescent child birth intentions, information pertaining to sexual education of rural youth in the United States, studies of adolescent sexual health in subjects less than 15 years of age, and self-reporting as a measure to obtain data leading to skewed results due to fear of admission, and in-home or privately schooled adolescents.
Recommendation for Practice: Revising sexual health education curriculum to include comprehensive sexual health education will reduce risky sexual experiences, while also educating adolescents on protective techniques to reduce exposure to STIs/STDs, HIV, and prevent unintended pregnancies.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sex instruction for youth.
Sexually transmitted diseases -- Prevention.
Health education.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2020 McKenzie Terfehr