"Tug of war": An analysis of the debates over sex education in Montgomery County
Sex education programs are some of the most controversial issues tackled by public school districts throughout the United States. Over the past three years, Montgomery County, Maryland has debated a proposed sex education program, the Family Life and Human Development curriculum. This curriculum, which seeks to introduce information about condoms and sexual orientation, has drawn both criticism and support from local and national organizations, parents, students, school officials, and community members. I analyze written accounts of this debate, including articles, letters to the editor, and editorials, in the Washington Times and the Washington Post through an inductive approach to latent content analysis. In particular, I analyze the patterns of the central narratives in the debate. These newspapers (re)produce a polarized narrative regarding the use and importance of knowledge, as well as narratives of bias.