Thesis

Development and evaluation of a curriculum targeting emotional components of women's sexual health

The current model of sex education in the United States falls mostly under either abstinence education or comprehensive programs. Previous research has shown that comprehensive programs have helped individuals make safer choices with their sexual behaviors while abstinence-only programs have shown to be associated with individuals engaging in riskier sexual behaviors. While these types of education are common, there is a lack of education that focuses on emotional aspects of sexuality for women. A curriculum was developed to educate women on the emotional components of women’s sexual health. Utilizing Allen’s (2004) concept of creating learning objectives, the specific learning objectives and assessment tools for this project were developed. The curriculum was presented to three professional reviewers who are doctorate level sex therapists. Each reviewer evaluated the curriculum and rated it according to learning objectives based on Allen’s model (Allen, 2004). Additionally, two focus groups were facilitated in order to obtain additional feedback from women who may be interested in attending a workshop or class based on the curriculum. One group included women from California State University, Stanislaus and one group included women from the community in the Central Valley of Northern California. Results from the professional reviewers showed that the curriculum met the learning objectives and provided many suggestions for expanding and enriching the curriculum. Following the focus groups, a qualitative analysis of themes was done. Results from the focus group indicated that the curriculum topics are valuable to women’s sex education. The curriculum created in this project provides a thorough and effective educational program for educating women on sexuality in a workshop or classroom setting.

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