Kaiser Family Foundation: Seventeen – Surveys


The Kaiser Family Foundation has teamed up with seventeen, the nation’s top teen magazine, to create SexSmarts, a campaign to provide young people with information and resources on sexual health issues. The on-going campaign, begun in 2000, addresses a range of topics from decision making about sex, including how to say no, to the real facts on HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It includes special articles in the magazine, a monthly column and resources at seventeen.com, and other consumer education materials. Under the partnership, seventeen (a PRIMEDIA magazine) and Kaiser also survey teens quarterly about their knowledge and attitudes about sex and sexual health. These nationally representative survey snapshots help to frame the SexSmarts campaign, and the results are distributed to thousands of media and youth advocates nationwide.

SexSmarts Articles in seventeen Magazine 2000-2003

  • “The Double Standard,” January 2003.
  • “Don’t You Trust Me?” October 2002.
  • “Talk to Me,” August 2002.
  • “Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll,” June 2002.
  • “The ABCs of STDs,” September 2001.
  • “The Vagina Dialogues: Scripts and tips for talking about your sexual health,” June 2001.
  • “Control Issues: Eight common myths-and the facts-about condoms and the pill,” January 2001.
  • “To have (or not to have) sex,” October 2000.
  • “SexSmarts,” a special insert in seventeen in June 2000.
  • “What do you know about…sex?” April 2000.

Surveys 2000-2003

Virginity and the First Time. This survey examines teen’s attitudes and opinions about virginity and first sexual activity among adolescents. It covers a variety of issues related to decision making, including when and why some teens hoose to have sex and what issues and concerns influence their decision to wait (October 2003).
Summary of Findings

Gender Roles.
This survey on teens and gender roles considers many old stereotypes that persist among teens today, reflecting a double standard when it comes to relationships and sexual decision-making (December 2002).
Summary of Findings

This survey examines the way teens think about sexual activity, STD testing, contraceptive use and condoms within different types of relationships (October 2002).
Summary of Findings

Teens and Sexual Health Communication.
This survey is about sexual health communication between teens and their parents, health care providers and partners (July 2002).
Summary of Findings

Sexual Activity and Substance Use Among Youth.
This survey addresses the pressures and decisions faced by teens and young adults involving alcohol, drugs, and sexual activity (February 2002).

Sexually Transmitted Disease.
This survey examines teen knowledge and attitudes about sexually transmitted diseases, including risk, testing and treatment (August 2001).

Sexual Health Care and Counsel.
This survey focuses on what teens say are barriers to sexual health care services for themselves, and their peers (May 2001).

“Safer Sex,” Condoms and “the Pill”.
This survey reveals what teens think about safer sex, what they know (and don’t) about their options for contraception and protection (November 2000).

Decision Making.
This survey addresses some of the complex issues influencing teenagers’ decision making about sex and relationships (September 2000).


The SexSmarts campaign includes a website at seventeen.com – one of the top sites for teens. At http://www.seventeen.com/sexsmarts teens read monthly columns, find online resources and hotlines, and take quizzes testing their knowledge on sexual health issues. The website is promoted in seventeen magazine.


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