Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Womens Studies

Major Professor

Jill McCracken, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michelle Hughes Miller, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Helis Sikk, Ph.D.


comprehensive sex education, curriculum, LGBTQ+, marginalized youth, race, religion


This thesis examines the process of developing a sexual health education curriculum that is not only tailored to the unique needs of foster-engaged young women, but also those who may experience further marginalization from other mainstream programs due to their race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or their religious beliefs. In conjunction with the Adolescent Sexual Health Education and Research (ASHER) Program, I helped develop a sexual health education curriculum, "Choosing Myself," targeted toward foster-engaged young women and young women (ages 13-24) in the state of Florida. "Choosing Myself" is intended to be an inclusive program that empowers participants, improves their self-esteem, and provides them with the knowledge and agency to navigate sexual situations. Sexual health curricula that ignore the diversity of experiences and backgrounds perpetuate harmful hegemonic systems of oppression and leave students unprepared to navigate sex and sexuality. By incorporating how participants' race, sexuality, gender identity, and religion impacts their experiences with sex, sexual health, and sexuality, "Choosing Myself" aims to better meet their needs, support their sexual health, and decrease their risk of sexual violence and other adverse experiences. I utilize techniques from feminist and care pedagogy, reproductive justice, and trauma-informed care to incorporate important information and conversations that allow participants in “Choosing Myself” to connect the material with their own identities and experiences.