Sex Education and Emotion

Table of Content

I choose to analyze an article about the importance of including a social and emotional component to sex education that was written by Guli Fager. The context of the piece is that Fager has worked as a sex ed consultant and has experienced what it usually consists of and believes it would be more informative and beneficial to the students if it included a social emotional aspect in addition to the “fear” (Fager) based teaching. The purpose of her article is to inform readers of a better way to teach young adults about this sensitive topic and try to create a more open environment for young adults to ask questions. The intended audience of the article are teachers, parents, and education administrators. She aims to reach those who could affect change on the sex ed system. In this analysis her use of ethos, logos, and pathos will be examined to show the effectiveness of her argument.

The author of this article appeals to her credibility by referencing her work experience throughout the text. The very first sentence of the article she mentions her work presenting to parents about their “hopes and fears for their child’s sexual development” (Fager), which gives the reader a sense that she has experience in the area and is an authority on the subject. This makes the reader feel that the information she provides is reliable. She later states that she has spent time working with teens, teaching sex education. She also uses facts and other resources to help establish ethos. She mentions a law passed in Maryland, the #MeToo movement, and Title IX violations. These references help to make he seem knowledgeable about the subject. The article if followed by a short description of her job stating that she is an “independent sexuality educator, trainer and consultant” (Fager). Through mentioning her career background and experience in this field, she makes an appeal to her credibility and demonstrates ethos.

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Fager’s argument is that sex education should contain a social-emotional aspect. She makes an appeal to logos by backing up her claim with a reason and an assumption. Her reason being that young adults need to learn important “skills like communication and boundary setting.” () The assumption is that parents want their children to be able to form healthy and loving relationships. She helps make her argument logical by using casual statements and relevant examples to back her statements. She mentions her time working with teens and states when they were offered the chance to ask questions anonymously, their most pressing questions did not have to do with the fears of many parents, like STDs and unwanted pregnancies, but were about sexuality and relationship dynamics. They did not ask about birth control or assault, but rather how to know when to kiss someone. This is an appeal to logos because it shows that social and emotional dynamics of a relationship are important to these kids. She says, “young people must not only learn the relevant facts, but identify their values, draw boundaries and learn — and practice — communication skills necessary to negotiate what they want” (Fager). She implies that if they can be taught this, then they will have a better chance at developing healthy relationships and avoiding negative consequences that come with sex and relationships. She also states that feelings are what motivate teens and their relationships. The intended audience were all teens at some point and can hopefully remember the strong emotions that are experienced in those years. Thus, they can understand the statement that it is feelings and not fear motivating teens. This is an appeal to both logos and pathos.

Her strongest of the three appeals is her use of pathos. The topic she has written about is something most all readers can relate to. She uses anecdotes and her personal experience working with teens to bring the topic to life for the reader and make them understand her argument. Most everyone has had an encounter with sex education at some point in their young adult life, whether from a teacher or a parent. Because of the readers experience with the subject of the text, the article is easy to connect with. After talking about the time she had teens ask anonymous questions she goes on to say “The best way to find out if someone wants to kiss is also the scariest way, which is to just ask. And all too often, our crushes like someone else” (Fager). This serves to appeal to the emotions of the reader, as this is an all too relatable situation. Nearly everyone has experienced some form of an unrequited crush and can thus relate to the article on another level. She also uses humor to help make her point. In the article she makes a joke that learning in sex ed isn’t like drivers ed as it can’t be measured easily. Her use of pathos helps tie together her article by seamlessly blending facts with emotions to make the reader not only understand, but also sympathize with the argument.

Fager uses the three elements of ethos, logos, and pathos to develop her argument for creating change in the way sex education is taught. She establishes that she is a credible source and uses strong logical arguments paired with appeals to the readers emotions to get her point across. It is an engaging article that gets the reader to stop and consider her words. Her combination of the three elements provides a strong and effective argument.

Works Cited

  1. Fager, Guli. “Sex Education.” Arizona Daily Star. Accessed 30 Jan 2019

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Sex Education and Emotion. (2022, Feb 09). Retrieved from

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