First Advisor

Karlyn Adams-Wiggins

Date of Award

Winter 3-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology and University Honors






Sex instruction -- Study and teaching, Transgender youth -- Education, Inclusive education, Gender identity, Gender nonconformity, Developmental psychology




Abstinence-only based sexual education has historically been the predominant form of school-based sexuality and sexual health education in the United States since the early 1900s. In recent years, there has been an emergence of more expansive and inclusive comprehensive education, however, both types of sexual education continue to affirm hetero- and cis-centric social and cultural norms around gender and sexual identity that leave transgender and non-binary youth at increased risk of poor psychological well-being and physical health outcomes compared to their peers. There have been considerable recommendations within the discourse community for the linguistic de-gendering of anatomy and anatomical processes, the addition of non-binary and transgender specific, non-judgmental information on risk prevention, and increased information delineating healthy relationships and the emotional aspects of sexuality. The effects of school-based victimization are long-lasting and far reaching, with possible implications on identity development and security in personal identity of adolescents who identify as transgender and non-binary. There is an overwhelming consensus that further research on these populations is necessary in the realms of both experienced school-based sexual education, and the intersection between school climates as a result of inclusive sexual education and identity development within Urie Bronfenbrenner's microsystems, as established in the Bioecological Model.


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