Date of Award

Spring 3-2017

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Antonia Darder

Second Advisor

Rebecca Herr Stephenson

Third Advisor

CJ Pascoe


Sexuality education in public schools in the United States excludes a large population of students. These exclusions are due to a long history of legal and economic battles, as well as the politicized nature of adolescent sexuality. This critical interpretive inquiry explored the long history of sexuality education through the lens of economics, law, and psychological paradigms and examined the way in which each of these lenses furthered the exclusion of nonheterosexual males in curricula. Using a framework comprised of critical feminist theory, critical pedagogy, and queer theory, this manuscript provides an understanding of the social structures of sexuality education and how they continue to marginalize students labeled as “other.” Using critical discourse analysis, this study reviewed legal and political documents, state and private curricula, and works in the sociology and psychology fields.

The outcomes of interpretive research do not lend themselves to specific answers, but to a greater understanding of the experience of marginalized individuals and the structures in place that keep this experience intact. Through a critical review of current programming initiatives, recommendations are made to continue moving toward a more gender- and identity-inclusive sexuality education curriculum. These recommendations, which are grounded in current legal and economic requirements, include teacher certification requirements, implementation of the Advocates for Youth 3Rs curriculum, utilization of a rights-based approach to program design, and adoption of national sexuality education by the Department of Health and Human Services, rather than by the Department of Education.

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Education Commons