Deconstructing the "Good Catholic Girl": A Critique of Sexual Pedagogies for Young Women in Catholic Ethics

Karen Elizabeth Ross


This ethnographic project demonstrates that current Catholic sexual education curricula fails to attend to the needs and experiences of young women and girls, and so must be re-imagined and reconstructed in order to provide sexual pedagogies that are liberating and just. This dissertation presents the stories of Catholic young women who have received Catholic sexual education through their parishes, schools, and homes, and the effects that this education has had on their sense of gender identity and sexual flourishing. By using ethnography as method for doing Catholic sexual ethics, the author uses these stories (gathered by conducting qualitative interviews) as a form of “embodied knowing” that can illuminate places within Catholic sexual education where intimate justice can be found and nurtured.