Becoming 'damaged goods'

A qualitative study on sex education and its effects on sexuality

  • Becca Anne Bowers UCM
  • Amaia Rodriguez Parrado


This study examines how sex education performed at a Christian private school in Oregon (USA) affects female students’ sexuality. The study collected data through the use of qualitative semi-structured interviews which were then analysed using a thematic data analysis. The results show a handful of detrimental effects on sexuality caused by abstinence-based sex education including sex guilt, shame and fear. Additionally, findings demonstrate evidence of homophobic feelings perpetuated by abstinence-based sex education. Although abstinence-based sex education propagated many of the aforementioned harmful effects, it was not the only instigator. Institutionalised religion and religious pressure play a large role in one’s perception of abstinence as well. For further research, it is suggested to continue research on one’s development of sexuality in a hyper-religious context.