Let’s Build Together: Expanding Comprehensive Sex Education in the United States

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Cecchi, Olivia
Curriculum and Instruction; Other Education; Public Health Education and Promotion
paper description
This paper seeks to critique the current state of sex education in the United States by examining the history of funding and the perceived effectiveness of some programs. In the past the American government has overwhelmingly supported abstinence-only methods of sex education through several federal funding streams. Yet there is little evidence to show that abstinence-only programs even work, thus there has been efforts to shift support to comprehensive sex education programs. This paper analyzes the results of several studies, which compare and evaluate the effectiveness of different types of sexuality education programs. Although these studies provide measurable evidence in support of comprehensive programs, our findings recognize that many of these programs are heteronormative and not inclusive of marginalized bodies and identities. Despite these critiques we offer up the Masakhane Center as an example of a program, which embodies a comprehensive, intersectional, LGBTQIA+ inclusive, non-hertonormative form of sexuality education.