Issues such as sexual assault, high rates of sexually transmitted infections, and high teen pregnancy rates are downstream effects of poor sex education. The current study examined the question, “In what ways do a person’s background in sex education, including family, school, and social learning, impact current efficacy and knowledge regarding sexual health?” Specifically, this study looked at the educational experiences of female college students at Eastern Kentucky University through semi-structured qualitative interviews. After signing an EKU IRB approved informed consent document, audio recorded interviews were conducted. All audio interviews were transcribed and then analyzed using thematic analysis to find common themes. Results indicate that almost all participants were unaware of the resources on campus concerning sexual health issues, and primarily had abstinence-focused sex education. Participants indicated that they learned the majority of their knowledge about sex from their parents, while others had negative or no discussions with their parents about sex. Results indicate that many students have limited to no formal sexual health education. Therefore, college campuses should be intentional about incorporating more sex education into curriculum and student life. Analysis also indicates that the educational interventions should place emphasis on creating a learning environment free of judgment, with honest communication, and with a focus on making sex less of a taboo topic.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2019


Julie Ann Lasslo

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Health Promotion and Administration

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Health Promotion and Administration