Percent of adolescents who have "positive" attitudes toward key sexual and reproductive health issues

This composite indicator or index measures adolescents' attitudes toward key sexual and reproductive health (SRH) topics and issues. “Positive" attitudes are those logi­cally expected to lead to positive SRH outcomes. The topics and issues included in the indicator should re­flect those of primary importance for protecting the RH of adolescents and/or those the pro­gram emphasized.

This indicator is calculated as:

(# of adolescents who have positive attitudes toward key SRH issues/ Total # of adolescents) x100

Evidence of the prevalence of “positive” attitudes to­ward key SRH issues, usually solicited by means of personal interviews with or self-administered question­naires completed by adolescents. Evaluators should tabulate data for this indicator by gender and age. The following items illustrate possible attitudes to measure:

Attitudes toward contraceptives/condoms:

  • Condoms do/do not reduce sexual pleasure;
  • Carrying condoms is/is not difficult;
  • Using condoms is/is not a sign of mutual re­spect;
  • Condoms are easy/difficult to obtain and use;
  • My partner would/would not reject me if I in­sisted on condom use;
  • Unmarried adolescents should/don‘t need to use condoms in all sexual encounters; and
  • I am/am not responsible for my own well-be­ing.


Gender-role stereotypes:

  • Women who carry condoms are —easy“ or pros­titutes;
  • Having sex with many women is a sign of man­hood;
  • “Real men” don‘t use condoms; and
  • The female (sexual partner) is responsible for protection.

Evaluators may want to disaggregate by the following age ranges: 10-14, 15-19, and 20-24.


Attitudes toward abstinence:

  • It is OK for youth to wait for marriage to have sex; and
  • My friends would/would not laugh at me for refusing to have sex.


Perceived vulnerability:

  • It (pregnancy/STIs) won‘t happen to me;
  • Young people are healthy and don‘t need to worry about STIs; and
  • Women can/cannot get pregnant the first time they have sex.

Surveys of adolescent program participants or of ado­lescents in the program‘s intended population

Developing "positive“ attitudes toward key SRH topics/issues is an important objec­tive of many adolescent and youth SRH programs.  This indicator is a com­posite measure that covers attitudes toward the SRH topics and issues of primary importance for protecting the RH of adolescents and/or those the program emphasized.

As with knowledge, positive attitudes do not necessarily predict future be­haviors.  So this would be a weak indicator to use to predict actual healthy behaviors.

attitude, adolescent
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