MA IDS Thesis Projects

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

College

College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences

Department

International Development and Service

Degree Name

International Development and Service, MA

Keywords

school-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, Liberia, adolescent, gender-based violence, education, West Africa

Abstract

Corporal punishment and sexual exploitation and abuse are prevalent in Liberian schools. Adolescent girls are often pressured by parents and peers to engage in transactional sex with teachers for grades and financial stability. Simultaneously, many teachers and older men in the community take advantage of girls’ vulnerability and put them at risk for unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and other psychological harm. Research on school-based violence suggests an urgent need for educating parents, teachers, students and other community members about the harmful nature of sexual exploitation and abuse. This study examines the negative effects of school-based violence in Liberia and introduces a comprehensive sexual education curriculum that will encourage students to engage in responsible sexual behavior and learn how to prevent and report sexual exploitation and abuse.

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