These days, teenagers have so many things to deal with. From SAT's to picking a college, life can seem overwhelming. One of the most important things to them, however, may possibly relationships and sexual ones at that. The purpose of our survey was to find out just how much teenagers really know about teen pregnancy and awareness. The questions we asked we really geared towards gauging their knowledge on the topic to see how much education they had received in the past. Another purpose, I feel, was to find out what changes could be made in sex education to make teenagers more aware about the consequences of certain sexual activity.
One of the most important factors in our survey process was obviously our target audience. In order to obtain survey takers, we asked our friends for help and we also went to the dorms to asked people to take the survey. We got around sixty out of eighty people to take the survey that we asked. Mostly, the reason for people to not complete the survey was either because they were to busy or did not feel comfortable answering a survey about sexual intercourse and the like. Most of the people we surveyed were females around the age of seventeen to twenty. We tried to make sure that every person we interviewed was a teenager. The group surveyed was of mixed ethnicity with a larger percentage being Caucasian, followed by Black, Asian, and Indian. Everyone we surveyed had at least some college education, which gave us a good idea of the kind of education they had all received in the past.
The focus group was a great experience and also helped the group come to many conclusions about teen pregnancy awareness. We were able to recruit a few students from the dorms for our focus group. This seems like a good way to get a random grouping of students to participate. We also asked a few of our friends to take part in the focus group to make it a more comfortable situation for the whole group by having people who are already comfortable in the setting they are in. We went out recruitment very carefully. We made sure they were female, as we felt we would get better opinions and better discussion about teen pregnancy awareness if we had all one sex and mainly all female.
It is important to know a little background information about the participants in our focus group as well. They were all students at the University of Maryland, so they obviously had some previous education at many levels in the educational system. They were all female as well, four of them being Caucasian, Three being Black, and one of Indian background. One of the participants was a friend of mine so I had previous knowledge about her behavior and sexual activity. It was interesting to watch how she reacted with a group of strangers as opposed to a group of friends. I'm sure this can be said for the other members of the focus group as well.
We took a good amount of time to figure out where and how to conduct the focus group interview. We were tossed between using some ones apartment or sticking with the basic and using a study group area in McKeldin Library. We decided to go with the latter and use a study room in McKeldin Library. We decided this for a few reasons. One of the biggest reason was because it was a neutral area that everyone could have some comfort in, but not completely different feelings in their surroundings. We got our group in to a circle and began with broad questions and then eventually getting more into the deep questions at the end. The survey took about an hour to an hour and a half to complete, so we got a lot of quality information without dragging it to long and losing our audience to boredom. Some techniques we used were mainly just getting everyone comfortable with each other to start. We realized that teen pregnancy could be a touchy subject with some people, so we wanted to get everyone to know each other better. We started with simple sex question, almost in a joking...
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