Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Erler, H. Abbie
In the last decade, federally-funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs have become an increasing feature of public high school sex education classes. This thesis examines how these programs construct a discourse about normative understandings of deserving and undeserving citizens. Through a content analysis of four such programs, I find that abstinence only programs, through their lessons about poverty, family structure, and sexuality construct the deserving citizen as a middle-class person who participates in the patriarchal family and reserves sexual activity for marriage. I argue that these programs are ultimately harmful to students because they construct a narrow definition of the ideal citizen at the expense of the people who do not fit into this mold. This education, which is a reflection of our broader societal attitudes, teaches students how to recognize and become the deserving citizen and avoid deviance.
Stevens, Lindsay, "Federally-funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs: constructing deserving and undeserving citizenship" (2010). Honors Theses. 35.
All rights reserved. This copy is provided to the Kenyon Community solely for individual academic use. For any other use, please contact the copyright holder for permission.