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Abstract

School-based sex education (SBSE) represents an attempt on the part of institutions to interrupt and correct the sexual socialization of young people. In this examination of scholarship on SBSE, I provide an overview of the field of academic approaches to SBSE and argue for the application of a variety of sociological frameworks to future studies. Much of the extant sociological literature on SBSE tends to focus on the implications that political rhetoric has for policy and funding, curricula, and stakeholder perspectives. In this paper, I will discuss this literature vis-a-vis the structural level (e.g. policy, law, funding). Further, because both structure and interaction are embedded in cultural contexts, I will discuss the role of culture as treated in the literature. I will then discuss the scholarly criticisms of SBSE contained in the literature as opportunities for sociological article of SBSE.