The Sex Chronicles: Young Women’s Recollections of Learning About Sex
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There is a pervasive social fear surrounding girls’ sexuality. In 2015, Ontario public schools mandated a new version of sex education. There was, and still is, public outcry by many parents over the new curriculum. The concern? We should be protecting children from, and not exposing them to, sexual content. This criticism of the new curriculum highlights the powerful fear around children and sex, and has, in turn, limited the education girls receive about sexual knowledge and pleasure. My research explores how girls in Ontario learn about sex and how this knowledge has influenced their sexual narratives by asking the following questions: When young women at an Ontario University reflect on how and what they learned about sex, what do they recall? How do young women at an Ontario University feel that their learned knowledge about sex has shaped their understanding of their sexual identify, sex lives, sexual desires, and abstinence? My findings highlight that there is a gap between what girls and young women are learning and what they are experiencing. Overall, my thesis advocates for a meaningful and appropriate sex education that provides students – and girls, in particular – with the knowledge they need to make healthy sexual choices. I hope to inspire educators and policy makers to consider the positive implications of a well rounded and practical sex education.