Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Social Innovation (M.A.)

Degree Program

School of Community Leadership & Development

First Advisor

Denise Goerisch

Academic Year



Sex education in the United States has become a point of cultural, religious, and political debate. While the debate is mostly focused on abstinence-only vs comprehensive sex education being taught in schools, the role that parents have in their child’s sex education is a growing piece of the debate. This project adds to the growing research around sex education in the United States; specifically, how parent sex education can be used as a tool of social innovation to address the gaps provided in formal sex education. Parent educators were interviewed to learn their perspective on the benefits of parent education classes to help address issues related to child development, as well as why they believe parents are not children’s main source of sex education. Parents who attend a parent sex education class were surveyed after the class to learn if they gained knowledge and skills to help them facilitate discussions with their children about sex and sexuality. Thus, this project addresses the following research question: 1) Why are parents often not the main source of comprehensive sex education for their children and 2) how can this be addressed through parent education curriculum?