Moving Past Assumptions: Recognizing Parents as Allies in Promoting the Sexual Literacies of Adolescents through a University-Community Collaboration

Stacey S. Horn, Christina R. Peter, Timothy B. Tasker, Shannon L. Sullivan


This article recounts how a university-community collaborative challenged prevailing assumptions about parents as barriers to the provision of gender and sexuality information to their children, allowing for the recognition of parents as critical stakeholders and partners in sexual literacy work with youth. We provide evidence that parents’ support for inclusive sexuality education uniquely situates them to educate and advocate for young people around these issues, and in so doing we hope to disrupt the rhetoric that casts parents in the United States as solely gatekeepers when it comes to young people’s access to information about the broad spectrum of human sexuality.

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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.