Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2020

Thesis Advisor(s)

Virginia Hettinger

Honors Major

Political Science


In the United States, laws regarding sexuality education and what that entails vary widely between states. In those states where it is mandated, few require that the information be “medically accurate.” These programs usually exist as “abstinence only” or “abstinence plus” models. However, there has been research to indicate that a “comprehensive” sexuality education curriculum may be more effective than an abstinence-based model. While there is substantial literature to indicate that comprehensive sex education is effective in achieving some desired outcomes, much of this literature requires updating and some dependent variables have yet to be studied. This article will examine sexuality education programs by state mandate to determine which model of sexuality education is best for a high school environment, in terms of rates of teen pregnancy, gender-based violence, and STI rates, while controlling for several confounding variables.