NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Do Information Technologies Improve Teenagers' Sexual Education? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Colombia

Alberto Chong, Marco Gonzalez-Navarro, Dean Karlan, Martin Valdivia

NBER Working Paper No. 18776
Issued in February 2013, Revised in July 2017
NBER Program(s):Health Economics Program, Labor Studies Program

Across public junior high schools in 21 Colombian cities, we conducted a randomized evaluation of a mandatory six-month internet-based sexual education course. Six months after finishing the course, we find a 0.4 standard deviation improvement in knowledge, a 0.2 standard deviation improvement in attitudes, and a 55% increase in the likelihood of redeeming vouchers for condoms as a result of taking the course. We find no evidence of spillovers to control classrooms within treatment schools, and we find treatment effects are enhanced when a larger share of a student’s friends also takes the course. The low cost of the online course along with the effectiveness we document suggests this technology is a viable alternative for improving sexual education in middle income countries.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18776

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