SEARCHING FOR THE CAUSAL IMPACT OF SEX EDUCTION POLICY REFORM: USING A SYNTHETIC CONTROL TO STUDY THE INTERSECTION OF HEALTH & EDUCATION POLICY Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
Creator
  • Midkiff, Brooke
    • Affiliation: School of Education
Abstract
  • Most education policy is targeted specifically at improving education outcomes. Similarly, most health policies target health outcomes exclusively. Using changes in sex education policy, this project seeks to understand the intersection of education policy and health policy. Education and health policy impacts racial or ethnic racial or ethnic minority women disproportionately, as racial or ethnic minority women experience a stronger and more negative education gradient than whites or men. Also, racial or ethnic minority girls experience lower graduation rates than boys or white girls, and have persistently higher rates of teenage pregnancy. For this reason, sex education presents an illustration of the intersection of education and health policy and its possible impact on racial or ethnic minority girls. To understand this phenomenon, the synthetic control methodology is used to compare the education and health outcomes of racial or ethnic subgroups of girls who received comprehensive sex education to their counterfactual peers. I examine state-level data to construct a synthetic control in which comprehensive sex education was not adopted for comparison to the treatment unit. The synthetic control method is used to examine if a state-level policy change to provide more comprehensive sex education led to better health outcomes as well as educational outcomes, and if any effects of the policy change were heterogeneous between racial and ethnic subgroups. I provide discussion of my findings as they relate to issues regarding feminism broadly, Black feminist thought, Latina/o critical theory, whole-child school reform approaches, the relationship between high school completion and teenage pregnancy and childbirth, the education gradient, and feminist critical policy analysis.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Marshall, Catherine
  • Hershfield, Joanne
  • Thompson Dorsey, Dana
  • English, Fenwick
  • Durrance, Christine
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
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  • Chapel Hill, NC
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