First Advisor

Dunn, Thomas

Second Advisor

Woody, William Douglas

Date Created



Adolescents in different parts of the United States begin formally learning about human sexuality at different times based on state curricula. When students learn about sex, they may be inherently motivated to learn more than the information in the specific available curriculum. This study reviews different theories of motivation and investigates the most current and common forms of sexual education curricula that exist in schools in the United States and their differences. This study attempts to address a potential relationship between motivation felt in the classroom and learning about human sexuality away from the classroom. Reviewed are implications associated with the potential relationships. A review of sources of adolescents using sexual information presents information about where they learned about human sexuality and what effects these sources had on attitudes and behaviors. The purpose of this study was to understand the relationship between sex education curricula, school-prompted interest, and seeking materials about human sexuality outside of class. Participants included students from a western university. Participants completed a survey about their sex education history, the motivation they felt when taking sex education, and other methods they utilized to learn about human sexuality. Data collection and analyses informed the researcher about relationships between current sexual education curricula and how different curricula may affect motivation and use of outside sources of information. According to the results, adolescents typically look for more information from their friends, the internet, their family, their teachers, and from other sources. Students who received Abstinence Only Until Marriage (AOUM) sex education reported looking for more information about human sexuality using erotic sources. A discussion of limitations included methods of data collection. As well as recommendations for future research in sex education and educational psychology


Interest, Motivation, Sex Education


123 pages

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