Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Warren Blumenfeld


This study seeks to further interrogate the sexuality education debate from the perspective of the educational policy being implemented to achieve established curricular requirements and goals in rural midwestern communities. To this point, very little research has examined the way in which sexuality education curricula are implemented in these communities. The overall purpose of this study was to provide a qualitative case study analysis of sexuality education policy implementation in two rural midwestern communities in the state of Iowa. The researcher was interested in learning how local agents in rural midwestern communities implemented sexuality education policy, and understanding that process from a social cognitive theoretical framework.

A qualitative case study methodology was used for this study. Seven local implementing agents from two rural school districts in the state of Iowa were interviewed, and relevant documents pertaining to the implementation of sexuality education policy were analyzed. The case study methodology provided the opportunity for participants to share individual values and beliefs regarding sexuality education policy, and discuss their experiences implementing this policy.

Analysis of the data was guided by the following research questions: (a) what are the roles of individual implementing agents in the implementation of sexuality education policy in two rural, midwestern school districts? (b) Are there significant individual and group influences on how implementing agents choose to implement sexuality education policy? (c) What is the community context in which implementing agents implement sexuality education? How significant is that context to implementing agents' decisions regarding sexuality education policy implementation? and (d) how is sexuality education policy implementation organized and administered in rural midwestern school districts? Analysis revealed four interactive themes that shed light on how sexuality education policy is implemented in rural midwestern communities: (a) values and beliefs of implementing agents; (b) community context; (c) implementing agent interaction; and (d) organization and administration of sexuality education. Limitations, future research suggestions, policy and practice implications, and conclusions were identified.

Copyright Owner

Adam Foley



File Format


File Size

491 pages