Good Sex? A Critical Review of School Sex Education

Balanko, Shelley L.
June 2002
Guidance & Counseling;Summer2002, Vol. 17 Issue 4, p117
Academic Journal
Since the 1960s, sex education in North American schools has been surrounded by controversy. Sex education evolved from brief units about anatomy to a preoccupation with the prevention of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). By the 1990s, sex education occurred within comprehensive interventions that presented it as but one means of promoting holistic health. A critical review searching for a sex-positive perspective reveals that sex education has a history of focusing on the dangers of sexuality almost to the complete exclusion of its joys. Furthermore, women have been presented as sexual objects lacking subjective desire. This paper concludes with recommendations for sex-positive sex education development.


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