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The Long-Term Effects of a Peer-Led Sex Education Programme (RIPPLE): A Cluster Randomised Trial in Schools in England

November 2008

Judith Stephenson, Vicki Strange, Elizabeth Allen, Andrew Copas, Anne Johnson, Chris Bonell, Abdel Babiker, Ann Oakley


This experiment tests the relative effectiveness of peer-led sexual education classes. Twenty-seven schooling in England (consisting of a total of 9,000 students) were randomly assigned to either undergo peer-led sexual education, or the standard teach-led classes. Outcomes were compared seven years after the education. The peer-led group experienced a lower rate of teen pregnancy (7.2% versus 11.2%). Other than pregnancy, outcomes such as abortion rate, unprotected first sex, and diagnosed STDs were not statistically affected.

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Policy Implications

Peer-led sexual-education may aide in decreasing the instance of teenage pregnancy. Other than this, however, it does not seem to have any additional effects.

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