Public sex education and the state’s potential to cultivate sexually healthy adolescents through evaluation
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The sex education infrastructure of today’s U.S. public schools was developed on themes and ideologies that are exclusive, filled with health and wellness inaccuracies, and reliant on discrete limited outcomes of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Education (AOUME) uses fears of pregnancy and disease to teach “healthy practices”. This paper is written in favor of turning school systems toward practices that incorporate a social justice component paired with healthy discourse on a wider range of topics and well-established medically-accurate truths. Systemic collaborative change must aim to uproot the nation’s entrenched history in AOUME to address the present gap in policy attentiveness toward important sexual health and wellness outcomes associated with sex education in U.S. public schools. Monitoring and evaluation practices must also reflect progressive holistic sex education practices and expand past one-dimensional indicators.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with Honors