Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice

Committee Chair/Advisor

Heather Hensman Kettrey

Committee Member

Natallia Sianko

Committee Member

Thomas Maher


American teens have diverse experiences with sex education that may leave some inadequately prepared for navigating their sexuality as emerging adults. For those who seek higher education, college-level sex education classes could fill this void. Yet, there is a notable gender gap in enrollment in college-level sex education classes across the US, with men being reluctant to taking these courses. Thus, it is important to understand what barriers prevent men from taking these classes. This study explores the roles that masculine ideology plays in dissuading men from enrolling in college-level sex education courses. Interviews with 17 masculine-identified college students who had not enrolled in a sex education course indicated that men see these courses as feminized spaces that they should avoid. Although toxic masculinity was apparent in participants’ comments, they often distanced themselves from this ideology by either using genderblind language or attributing toxic ideology to other men. As such, efforts to recruit men into college-level sex education classes may benefit from the use of tactics that approach men as allies in educating “other” men about sexuality.

Author ORCID Identifier




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