A (COMPREHENSIVE) SEXUALITY EDUCATION? A Qualitative Field Study About the Support or Resistance of Communities Toward Sexuality Education in Guatemala
Sexuality education is considered a fundamental element to improve public health outcomes, informing young people about their rights and sexual health, and contributing to sustainable development. However, in many countries around the world, it remains a sensitive topic, often as a result of sociocultural and religious taboos, which due to recent efforts has received renewed resistance and opposition. The research aims to explore the implementation of sexual politics in Guatemala with a focus on its practical translation in the classroom environment. The objective of the study is to investigate the impact of communities on the stigmatized subject of sexuality education in the department of Guatemala and to contribute to the understanding of how this might affect teachers in their role as educators, and consequently the quality of sexuality education. The data was collected through 12 semi-structured respondent interviews with Guatemalan secondary school teachers. Using a thematic analysis, three themes were formulated: apparent conservatism, guidelines and limitations, and choice of teaching approach, to study teachers’ experiences in relation to the response of communities toward sexuality education. Additionally, the theoretical categories of potential dichotomies, linguistic framing, and delivery strategies were used as a tool to answer the research questions. The main findings show that individual character, professional environment, and context have a crucial impact on the teaching approach, which is identified as a decisive factor for being met with either resistance or support by the communities. The thesis argues that the challenge to either adapt or confront a cultural context that views sexuality education as culturally sensitive will most likely persist, due to the universality of the concept of CSE.