This research paper examines if high school sexual education as well as peer communication has any effect on how people experience shame within sexual relationships. To conduct this research, I reviewed articles of similar studies to confirm my hypothesis: that both sexual education and peer communication would have a significant relationship on if individual’s experience sexual shame. To gather data, I sent out a survey to the student body and conducted several interviews. The data I collected showed that peer communication has an inverse correlation with sexual shame: the more people communicate with their friends, the less shame they feel in their sexual relationships. I did not find a significant relationship between sexual education and shame, showing that it does not have the impact I hypothesized. I ran tests to see if there were difference between how self-identifying males and females internalized shame and how likely they were to communicate. While females were more likely to communicate with their friends, there was not a significant relationship between gender and shame. From the finding, I further support the conclusion that communicating with peers works to reduce experiences of sexual shame, especially for females.


Nurse, Anne


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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