Author Information

Nicole Mazzeo


The Bible Belt1 in the Southern United States is known for its conservative values, which are largely influenced by the popularity of evangelical Christianity in the region. When looking at sex education, policymakers in the area tend to prefer abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) education, if anything, to be implemented in schools (Guttmacher Institute 2019). In this paper, I will use data on the sexual health outcomes in the Bible Belt, as compared to the Northeast, to demonstrate that the lack of comprehensive sex education — and the popularity of abstinence-only education — contributes to inequality in our country.

Note on the Author

Nicole Mazzeo is a Sociology major who has been interested in sexuality education for several years. She designs alternative sex-education materials that focus on consent, pleasure, and accepting sexual diversity. Both Dr. Megan Murphy (Sociology) and Dr. Colby King (Sociology) contributed to this research paper as mentors. Nicole hopes her work in the field of sex education will contribute to a cultural shift toward sexpositivity and consent.

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