Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Social work education-Curricula, Sex-Study and teaching (Graduate), Mixed methods research, Human sexuality, Education, Sexuality education, Motivation, Social work education


This mixed methods study aimed to examine the regional variation among MSW programs that offer human sexuality coursework, determine some of the personal obstacles faculty of human sexuality coursework face and the motivations faculty members have in teaching such coursework. After completing a content analysis of 140 accredited MSW programs in the U.S., a series of eight semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with faculty who teach human sexuality coursework. The content analysis surveyed a purposive sample of MSW programs from each of the five regions of the U.S.; the eight participants were also purposively sampled by region. Findings of this study concluded that the Northeast and Western regions offer the most human sexuality courses while the Southeast and Southwest offer the least. Common personal obstacles met by faculty include personal isolation, limited peer support and how students interact with faculty's identity. Motivations faculty have for teaching human sexuality courses included: feeling professionally and ethically responsible to teach these topics, enjoying teaching and learning from students, and enjoying being able to witness student's growth. This study suggests further research focus on organizational and institutional obstacles of teaching human sexuality to better determine how to overcome these barriers in order to offer human sexuality coursework to more MSW students.




iii, [72] pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 59-63)