Research using a grounded theory approach explored sex educators' experiences and perceptions of conflict. Open-ended, conversational telephone interviews with fourteen informants were analyzed to identify examples of conflict. Analysis of interview data revealed that sex educators' experiences and perceptions of conflict cluster in six main types: tension, challenges, disagreement, harassment, suppression, and controversy.
When asked directly, sex educators did not believe themselves to experience conflict. Conflict is normalized. Types of conflict occurred across and within curriculum types. Findings demonstrate how educators' justify curriculum legitimacy and how experiences recapitulated themes from the public debate: mixed messages, individual choice, and appropriateness. Interesting findings demonstrate how medical accuracy was most often claimed by abstinence-only educators to legitimize curriculum. Unique findings include two educators who changed from comprehensive to abstinence-only and to abstinence-based, and one who taught abstinence-only as well as comprehensive. While the debate is polarized, there are educators who change sides.
Findings contribute to literature on conflicts in teaching and on the sex education debate. Findings add the experiences and perspectives of abstinence-only and abstinence-based educators to existing research. Findings suggest types of conflict should be considered when assessing program effectiveness.
|School:||Arizona State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 68/03, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational sociology, Health education|
|Keywords:||Abstinence, Conflict, Sex educators|
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