Date of Award


First Advisor

Anne O'Dwyer

Second Advisor

Sarah Snyder


As defined by the United Nations (e.g., UNESCO et al., 2018), Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) can be summarized by its eight pillars: (1) Sexual and Reproductive Health; (2) The Human Body and Development; (3) Violence and Staying Safe; (4) Values, Rights, Culture, and Sexuality; (5) Sexuality and Sexual Behavior; (6) Relationships; (7) Understanding Gender; and (8) Skills for Health and Well-being. This study drew on a biopsychosocial framework to investigate these eight pillars and their presence in primary and secondary education (i.e., elementary, middle, and high school) across a range of ages to see if CSE has improved. A survey (N = 99) found that CSE has increased at least slightly across all eight of the pillars. Additionally, in an analysis of internal reliability, calculations on Pillar 7: Understanding Gender showed that responses were least consistent and suggest inconsistencies with responses—in particular with Question/Item 2 within Pillar 7. Lastly, although small, preliminary findings suggest inconsistencies between US and international (India) standards of CSE education, and point to future areas of research.

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