Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access

First Advisor

Melissa Nemon

Abstract

In the United States currently, there are significant gaps in sex education. Youth in the United States today are identifying more diversely in the past and many are not receiving the comprehensive sex education they deserve, creating negative sexual and social outcomes. Through examining the legacy of religiosity, white supremacy, power, and privilege in the United States, one can pinpoint how historical legacies still influence the sex education youth receive today. In conversations with research and theory, a solution to this issue may lie in creating applicable tools that allow educators to better accommodate the needs of youth they are teaching. This study explores how social justice education, empowerment theory and reproductive justice can aid in the creation of a pedagogy of social justice and empowerment in K-12 education. By providing educators with a safe space to conversate, collaborate and reflect on current sex education practices, educators increased their confidence and competence in creating truly comprehensive sex education for their youth. Through providing professional development opportunities for educators, one can create more positive learning environments for their students, especially those with marginalized identities who often slip through the cracks.

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