“From My Own Personal Life”: An Oral History Of Abstinence-Focused Sex Education In Texas
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This thesis will explores the recent history of abstinence-focused sex education in Texas public schools through interviews with former students and educators from Texas. It traces the history of sex education in public schools in the United States from the late 19th century to the present, paying particular attention to the developments in federal policy towards funding abstinence-only sex education since the 1980s. It then lays out the relevant portions of the law in Texas, and the political debates surrounding the creation of those laws. It then presents interviews with students, educators, and advocates who have experience relevant to the topic of abstinence-focused sex education in Texas public schools. These interviews are then used to build an understanding of the impact of abstinence-focused sex education on students as well as the positions of those individuals in support of and against abstinence-only sex education in Texas public schools. Through conducting and analyzing these interviews this thesis provides a meaningful contribution to the discourse surrounding the impact and efficacy of sex education messaging that is focused around the ideal of abstinence.