Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Social.


Senn, Charlene,




This research aimed to: provide young women with emancipatory feminist sex education, explore quantitatively and qualitatively young women's perceptions of their sexuality and sex education influences, and expand our understanding of female sexuality. These purposes were achieved through the administration of a 6-week sexuality education curriculum to two groups of university women (ages 19--24) within a delayed-treatment experimental design with short-term follow-up. The Our Whole Lives (OWL): Sexuality Education Curriculum for Grades 10--12 (Goldfarb & Casparian, 2000) and Adults (Kimball, 2000) were used in this research. Guided by Feminist Standpoint Theory (Hartsock, 1998) and naturalistic inquiry (Guba & Lincoln, 1982), quantitative survey methods and qualitative interviews and observational field notes were the data collection methods. It was hypothesized that at posttest and follow-up participants would exhibit more sexual assertiveness, less acceptance of rape/coercion myths, less acceptance of the sexual double standard, and greater acknowledgment of their sexual desire than at pretest. It was also hypothesized that, at posttest, participants who received sexuality education would differ significantly from those waiting for the education on measures of: sexual assertiveness, endorsement of sexual coercion/rape myths, acceptance of the sexual double standard, and sexual desire. There were several statistically significant results, and the quantitative and qualitative findings converged. First, participants became less interested in being sexual with a partner, but more interested in being sexual with themselves. The consciousness-raising objectives were achieved, and participants became more open to masturbation, sexual diversity, and sexuality and spirituality. Participants emerged more self-reflective, self-aware, and self-accepting. As participants were self-reflective and self-disclosing during the program, they also began to re-evaluate their sexuality and sometimes re-defined themselves. Generally, participants became more self-focused as a result of their participation. Finally, contrary to expectation, participants' attitudes toward the sexual double standard were unchanged, and they were not any less concerned with body image issues and reputation concerns. Apparently, young women can experience positive outcomes from short-term sexuality education. Now it is time to advocate for widespread implementation and evaluation of emancipatory sexuality education with a range of contexts and participants.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2002 .B34. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 64-01, Section: B, page: 0461. Adviser: Charlene Senn. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2002.