Sex, Money, and Politics: An Analysis of United States Federal Funding for Domestic Abstinence-Only and Comprehensive Sex Education Programs, 1981-2010
Ives, Julie Theresa
MetadataShow full item record
Sex education is a divisive issue in the United States, seemingly split into two dichotomous curricular camps: abstinence-only-until-marriage education and comprehensive sex education. The federal government began funding abstinence-only education exclusively in 1981, and this funding steadily increased until 2010 when the Obama administration cut all discretionary funding for abstinence-only education programs and began supporting comprehensive sex education. This study will examine the federal government’s role in sex education program policy and the curricula themselves in order to analyze why the federal government has predominantly supported abstinence-education and why comprehensive education has received support from policymakers and the public, but not federal financial support. On the surface, sex education might seem like another contentious issue between the political right and left; however, abstinence-only and comprehensive sex education are more ideologically complex than simply censoring or providing information to students on birth control methods. After comparing and contrasting the goals, content, outcomes, and critiques of these two curricula, this study will conclude by theorizing about an alternative option to both abstinence-only and comprehensive sex education using multicultural education scholar James A. Banks’ notion of transformative education.
- Education - Seattle