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Family Life and Sexual Learning, 1976 (ICPSR 7755)

Principal Investigator(s): Roberts, Elizabeth J.; Kline, David; Gagnon, John H.


This dataset contains data from a 1976 survey of 1,484 parents of 3- to 11-year-old children living in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The purpose of the study was to explore in parents and their pre-adolescent children the process of learning about sexuality and the pattern of utilization of community resources regarding sexuality in the Cleveland, Ohio area (Cuyahoga County). Parents of pre-adolescents are the unit of analysis because they were seen as both the primary source of and the best reporters of their children's sexual learning. It was also seen as politically and socially impossible to conduct this research on the children directly. Where possible, both parents in two-parent families were interviewed. The intended use of the study was to influence the design and development of new policies and programs regarding sexuality in the Cleveland area. The collection contains data covering sexual topics in six general areas: (1) psychological aspects, (2) sexual functions, (3) relationships, (4) values, (5) media issues, and (6) sex roles. Specific sexual topics include: anatomy, reproduction, menstruation, masturbation, wet dreams, intercourse, homosexuality, sex play, marriage, parenting, divorce, displays of affection, love, fidelity, virginity, pre-marital sex, nudity, pornography, venereal disease, abortion, contraception, cross-sex behavior, sex segregation, and role expectations. The collection also contains data in eight main areas of learning and communication: (1) parents' experience with sexual learning and communication in the family, (2) parents' own sexual experience and attitudes, (3) parents' perceptions of their child's sexual learning and experience, (4) parents' expectations, desires, and attitudes about their child's sexual learning and behavior, (5) sex role attitudes and behavior of parents and children, (6) need for assistance and utilization of resources for sexual learning and communication, (7) parents and family demographics, and (8) possible sources of bias.

Access Notes

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Study Description


Roberts, Elizabeth J., David Kline, and John H. Gagnon. Family Life and Sexual Learning, 1976. ICPSR07755-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07755.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07755.v2

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • Gund Foundation
  • Cleveland Foundation
  • Brush Foundation
  • Population Education, Inc

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    children, demographic characteristics, educational needs, educational opportunities, expectations, family life, family relationships, gender roles, interpersonal communication, mass media, parental attitudes, parents, sex education, sexual attitudes, sexual awareness, sexual behavior, sexual orientation, values

Geographic Coverage:    Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1976

Date of Collection:   

  • 1976-04-08--1977-02-23

Universe:    The population of pre-adolescent children of Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

This survey was one of the activities of the Project on Human Sexual Development. See related publications.

A portion of the documentation is stored on microfiche.


Sample:    A multistage probability sample was used. The main survey was conducted on this sample. In the sampling stage involving housing units, the units were selected in a way that attempted to guarantee a good cross-section of socioeconomic and cultural subgroups. From the main survey sample, on a purposive basis, a small subset was chosen to participate in a series of in-depth interviews (case studies).

Data Source:

personal interviews and self-enumerated questionnaires

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-03-18

Version History:

  • 2010-07-28 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setups have been added to this data collection.

Related Publications



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