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A survey study on Turkish pre-service couunselors : their sources of sexuality information, perceived competence, needs to obtain information, and attitudes toward sexuality

Topkaya, Nursel
The purpose of the present study was fourfold: First, to understand pre-service counselors’ primary sources of sexuality information; second, to examine pre-service counselors’ perceived competence level of providing sexuality related information to their clients; third, to identify pre-service counselors’ need to obtain more information on sexuality related topics, and finally, to assess pre-service counselors’ attitudes toward sexuality. Demographic Data Form, Sexuality Information Form, and Turkish version of the Sexual Knowledge and Attitude Test for Adolescents (SKAT-A) - Attitude Section were used as the data collection instuments. The data were gathered from 552 undergraduate students, recruited from three State universities that offer Psychological Counseling and Guidance undergraduate program in Ankara, Turkey. The results of the study revealed that mothers and peers were cited as the primary sources by pre-service counselors. School/teacher, educational materials, and TV/movie were also mentioned as the important sources of information in relatively a few sexuality related topics. Moreover, female and male pre-service school counselors’ perceived competence level of providing information to their clients was higher among students who are about to finish their education compared to those who are at first or second year of his/her education in many sexuality topics. The findings also yielded that the majority of the females primarily need more information regarding sexual activities, whereas the majority of the males mainly need more information regarding society, culture, and sexuality. The results of MANOVA demonstrated that freshman and sophomore students reported more conservative masturbation, conventional morality, and homosexuality attitudes in comparison with either of the junior and senior students. Furthermore, female pre-service counselors held more liberal homosexuality attitudes than male pre-service counselors. The results indicated no significant differences with respect to gender and mother education as well as gender and father education of pre-service counselors and their masturbation, conventional morality, pornography, and homosexuality attitudes. Additionally, results showed that pre-service counselors who received previous sexuality education endorsed more liberal masturbation, conventional morality, and homosexuality attitudes as compared with pre-service counselors who did not receive any education.