Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Program

Sociology

Date of Award

5-2018

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Martha Copp

Committee Members

Joseph Baker, Paul Kamolnick

Abstract

This thesis examines the rhetoric surrounding sex education crafted by two major types of advocacy groups: the Christian Right and the Liberal Left. I conducted a qualitative analysis of content on sex education produced by six high-profile organizations: The Heritage Foundation, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Civil Liberties Union, the Guttmacher Institute, and Planned Parenthood. I found that these polarized organizations do not debate each other; instead, they focus on parents whose political leanings match their own. Sex education is at the center of other issues that also divide the Christian Right and the Liberal Left: healthcare, morality, marriage, education, and STIs. I analyze the arguments advocacy organizations make, the liabilities of their appeals, and their strategies to mobilize parents emotionally. Both conservative and liberal organizations aim to secure the beliefs of the next generation through their parents, not to find common ground.

Document Type

Thesis - Withheld

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Friday, March 25, 2022

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