University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
There is a distinct gap in knowledge surrounding disability and sex education. To understand how disability is currently addressed in state sexual health education, I undertook a qualitative content analysis of sexual health standards from nine individual states. My review of the literature concluded that multiple factors contribute to the lack of disability coverage in sexual education programming. Intuitional, social, and educational barriers lead to lack of sexual health information. In absence of education on disabled sexuality, negative attitudes and perceptions are common. When approaching this research, I expected there to be wide gaps in acknowledgment, language, and inclusion concerning disability. Four main themes emerged: appropriateness of sexuality content, explicit mentions of disability, avoidance of disability language, and acknowledgement of overall human variance. These results indicate a need for sexuality education to explicitly acknowledge how disability can impact sexuality.
I would like to express my deep gratitude to Dr. Natalie Blanton for stellar guidance and mentorship throughout this endeavor. Many thanks to Dr. Zachary Simoni for consistent and excellent direction since the conception of this project. Thank you to Dr. Melissa Jarrell for initially directing this project and helping develop the proposal. I am incredibly grateful to Dr. Kimberly Douglass for her professional mentorship and insight into disability and professional spaces. Your guidance has allowed me to design my own future. Special thanks to both Victoria Minor and Victoria Turner for their peer mentorship. Without your guidance I would not have pursued sex education as an intellectual or professional path. Thank you, Salem Murray, for keeping an eye on me while I work (you are doing so right now as I type this), and your editorial input on this project. Your presence in my life as an academic peer and friend has deeply influenced the trajectory of this project. Finally, I would like to express my appreciation of the staff at the UTC Library.
B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Sex instruction for people with disabilities; Sexual health--Standards--United States
Gender and Sexuality
Nelson, Mikael, "Disability avoidant language and other factors in the erasure of disabled students in sexual education" (2023). Honors Theses.
Available for download on Monday, November 13, 2028