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Date of Award


Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Jennifer R. Clark, PsyD

Second Advisor

Tamara Tasker, PsyD


This study explores the relationship between subjective experiences of sexual education and first sexual encounter, as well as between sexual education and current sexual experiences. This study utilized a qualitative phenomenological analysis to gain in depth subjective accounts of participants’ experiences. The majority of participants either suggested no connection existed between sexual education characteristics and emotional reaction to the first sexual experience or that the sexual education characteristics led to a negative emotional reaction to their first sexual experience. Some participants reported that they were more likely to physically prepare for sex by using condoms or birth control pills as a result of sexual education received. These findings suggest the current structure of sexual education is not conducive to the sexual emotional health of those who take the class.

Available for download on Thursday, December 10, 2020