Emma Dugan

Document Type


Publication Date



Since the 1900s, the United States has been arguing the true manner of sex education: moral rights or providing students with proper education. In the 1960s, abstinence-only education was added to education and has been federally funded for decades, pushing heterosexual, monogamous, marital relationships as the norm. The purpose of this project was to look at government-funded abstinence education and its impact on the American population and compare that with comprehensive education. This research covers topics such as how funding was being supplied and what it supported, and how abstinence education impacted American youth, perpetuated stereotypes, and created room for discrimination against queer individuals. To understand the impact of government-funded sex education, a literature review was conducted of 15 articles written over a multitude of years, which allowed for generation of a thesis on why government-funded sex education is inefficient. The research presents a timeline of laws related to sex education like Title V, Adolescent Family Life Act, and Community-Based Abstinence Education. Since 2008, abstinence education and comprehensive education. The laws previously mentioned are largely influenced by who is president. It was proven that abstinence education had a low success rate among students. This study was important to prove that comprehensive education should be federally funded and taught instead of abstinence sex education.

Faculty Mentor

Megan Palmer, M.A.

Academic Discipline

College of Arts & Sciences



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