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dc.contributor.authorNodulman, Jessica A.
dc.date.accessioned2012-08-28T16:58:33Z
dc.date.available2012-08-28T16:58:33Z
dc.date.issued2012-08-28
dc.date.submittedJuly 2012
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1928/21065
dc.description.abstractGuided by a social-ecological approach to health, this study explored a new approach to sex education—sex-positive sexuality education (SPSE). A collective case study was completed on three organizations that utilize a sex-positive approach to sexuality education—Good Vibrations, Scarleteen.com, and The National Sexuality Resource Center’s Summer Institute. Good Vibrations is an adult sex toy retailer, Scarleteen.com is an adolescent sexual health website, and the Summer Institute is an academic institute for scholars and practitioners of sexuality studies. Using qualitative methods of observations, interviews, and textual analysis, this study explains how sex-positive sexuality education is constructed, communicated, and defined. Despite studying three disparate organizations in regards to their context and audience, all three organizations enacted sex-positive sexuality education in similar ways. A three-tiered definition was constructed to understand this approach. The first tier consists of a three-element model, Enactment of Sex-Positive Sexuality Education. This model explains the three elements—core values, physical environment, and communication strategies—that were seen across the dataset as necessary for enacting sex-positive sexuality education. The second tier is composed of relational pairs. These relational pairs—inclusivity and normalization, pleasure and health and safety, accessibility and a critical approach, open environment and agency, and clarity and comfort—highlight how within a sex-positive approach to sexuality education, similarities and differences work in tandem. Finally, these pairs inform the third level, a dynamic that sets sex-positive sexuality education apart from other approaches to sexuality education. The model of SPSE is unique from other approaches to sex education—abstinence-only and comprehensive—because those approaches stay muddled in tensions over appropriate values, contexts, content, and communication strategies. SPSE however, embraces the natural tensions inherent in sexuality education. This dynamic co-existence of multiple concepts forms a holistic approach to sexuality education. Thus, SPSE transcends approaches that enforce an either/or or wrong/right dichotomy and instead brings together divergent perspectives in an all-inclusive approach to sexuality education. This study contributes to academic scholarship and public health initiatives because it offers a definition of sex-positive sexuality education and concrete examples of this approach in practice. Also, it benefits sexual health communication scholarship because it suggests the centrality of communication to what SPSE is and how it functions. Finally, this study provides research on a new approach to teaching sex education that may be able to help improve our nation’s sexual health.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.subjectSex Education, Sex-Positive, Case Studyen_US
dc.subjectSex-Positive Sexuality Educationen_US
dc.subject.lcshSex instruction -- Case studies
dc.subject.lcshGood Vibrations (Firm)
dc.subject.lcshNational Sexuality Resource Center (San Francisco State University)
dc.subject.lcshSexual ethics -- Study and teaching
dc.titleTranscending Traditional Approaches to Sexuality Education: A Case Study in Communicating, Constructing, and Defining Sex-Positive Sexuality Educationen_US
dc.typeDissertationen_US
dc.description.degreeCommunicationen_US
dc.description.levelDoctoralen_US
dc.description.departmentUniversity of New Mexico. Dept. of Communication and Journalismen_US
dc.description.advisorFoss, Karen A.
dc.description.committee-memberSchuetz, Janice
dc.description.committee-memberLutgen-Sandvik, Pamela
dc.description.committee-memberBolton-Oetzel, Keri


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