Date of Award

Fall 2022

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Education PhD, Joint with San Diego State University


School of Educational Studies

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Karen Myers-Bowman

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Guan Saw

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Sascha Longstreth

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2023 Heather Jaffe


Adolescence, Gender nonconforming, Identity formation, Sexual minority, LGBTQ information

Subject Categories



Comprehensive sexuality education is important to the healthy development of adolescent during the identity formation process, especially for sexual minority and gender nonconforming adolescents. For sexual minority and gender nonconforming adolescents, the identity formation process can lead to fluctuations in both sexuality and gender identity (Steensma et al., 2013). If sexual minority adolescents struggle to integrate their sexual identity, they may have greater psychological adjustment issues (Rosario et al., 2011). The inclusion of LGBTQ+ topics in the curriculum, lowers rates of bullying and creates a safer school environment. The purpose of this dissertation was to analyze the content of sexuality education curricula to see if they are meeting their intended purpose of promoting healthy sexual identity formation for all adolescents. The overarching research question was, what do current sexuality education curricula say to promote identity formation for adolescents who are sexual minorities or gender nonconforming ? A content analysis was done on two sexuality education curricula examining for comprehensiveness and inclusivity. From the analysis, four major themes emerged: inconsistent approach to sexuality-related terms, multi-modal instruction/active learning, a developmental approach, and a false sense of inclusion. Sexual minorities and gender nonconforming students can be made to feel less than their peers by how LGBTQ information is covered by the curricula. This is due to an omission of relevant information, the information that is taught and how it is delivered. The implications are suggestions for changes in terminology, inclusion of more information on different subjects, and ways to create equality in the information.



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