Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Advisor/Committee Chair

Monika Piotrowska, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marcus Adams, Ph.D.


This thesis examines the current state of sex education in the United States and

how our society is failing students by not providing them with the knowledge and tools needed to be fully autonomous and healthy sexual beings. By exploring what it means to be a holistically healthy sexual being, and what is meant by ‘sexual health’ in general, a criterion for a good sex education can be established. This criterion enables a critique of America’s two primary sex education programs in use: Abstinence-Only Sex Education and Comprehensive Sex Education. After fully examining what comprises each, as well as their pros and the cons, it is clear that they are not good sex education programs. Furthermore, previously set criteria and an in-depth argument about the importance of the promotion and the development of personal bodily autonomy for all students, make clear that there is a need for the creation and implementation of an Autonomy-Promoting Sex Education program. Autonomy-Promoting Sex Education programs, coupled with the primary goal of teaching and cultivating skills necessary for students to achieve personal autonomy and to be self-sufficient sexual beings, satisfies the necessary requirements of a good sex education program. Simultaneously, it avoids the inadequacies and problems that are commonly found in the current sex education programs.

Included in

Philosophy Commons