Let’s Talk About Sex: An Examination & Review of Sex Education Policy on Adolescents

Author: Donovan Hill
Major: Political Science
Approved: Fall 2019
Status: In progress

The purpose of this research study is to gain an in-depth look at the effects of sex education policy on high school students. This study aims to better understand if the education provided under current models/theories influence youth perceptions and activities regarding sexual behavior and consequences. The study is designed to identify trends/correlations in high school students’ perceptions of certain aspects of sexual information and knowledge while offering no preemptive bias or discrimination against any particular method. Its goal is to simply identify the commonalities that are present between individuals exposed to the same sexual education experience. This part of the survey will be based on a survey that I construct with the assistance of my research advisors. I aim to use the results of the survey to evaluate the type of education students received and highlight trends and behavior students have regarding sex.

Along with the student engaged approach, this study will also take into consideration the political factors and influences that may skew/influence the current climate regarding sex-education. This analysis will include; i) A review of both state and federal policy regarding sex education ii) A review of major political actors/organizations regarding sex education iii) Political climate. These three aspects will play a preliminary role by highlighting the conditions in which sex education operates. It will also highlight how schools, as an institution, adhere to the bureaucratic system that oversees sex education. This analysis will help contribute to the research by understanding outside factors that contribute to sex education beyond the classroom environment. Along with this effect, the research may be used in future to create a policy proposal for state governments to reconsider their perceptions of sex education.