The purpose of this blog is to facilitate a discussion on the use of standardized measures in relation to sexuality education. For this discussion I am defining a standardized assessment measure as a tool that can be used to test for sexuality knowledge, attitudes, or affective response. These measures can be standardized to understand an individual's response in relation a larger distribution of responses throughout a particular society.
There are several reasons why I think the discussion of these tests is important:
1) Pre/Post testing can be useful for establishing that a particular lesson or curriculum was effective at creating a change
2) Standardized testing can help educators and students understand particular areas that an individual may have inherent strengths or weaknesses
3) There is current debate regarding the effectiveness or relevance of standardized testing and whether the practice is culturally/socio-economically/tester biased
4) Historical voids in research into sexuality topics due to taboo or moral objection
5) The facilitation of knowledge through understanding what other researchers feel is important to know about sexuality issues
I personally have felt that in past work that the use of testing measures were a great help in establishing validity for sexuality education and counseling. In addition to a treatment plan, if I were able to show that a person referred to me for education was able to increase knowledge on the Family Life And Sexual Heath (FLASH) curriculum assessment tools, then I was able to provide greater justification for the importance of sexuality education. In the larger scheme of sexuality education, showing that there is legitimate research that is evidence based can also create greater support for the importance of the field.
As a student and as an educator, I feel that the use of standardized tests help to further my own understanding of sexuality topics by both the data that is being generated and by the presentation by other researchers of the relevance of the information being investigated. During my undergraduate work I found that creating studies helped peak my personal interest in sexuality topics. The furtherance of this type of research can also show how testing has been misled and where biases and statistical errors have been made.
Some good resources:
The Handbook of Sexuality Related Measures
Here is a link that references several tests of sexual well being in relation to health matters:
So for this week...Please discuss your experiences or knowledge of any methods of testing for sexuality issues. Do you have any recommendations for future test, have any current measures you use or find interest, or have caveats?