Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Carol Sisson

Second Advisor

Scott Gaier

Third Advisor

C. Skip Trudeau


The current research aimed to better understand young women on Christian campuses who struggle sexually. The following research question guided the study: What is the experience of young women on Evangelical campuses who establish transparency regarding their taboo sexual practices within their peer relationships? The researcher interviewed seven students at a small, private, faith-based institution for the study. The researcher utilized semi-structured interviews and analyzed them using a grounded theory approach. Through the interviews, results emerged under five major themes heard in each story and five minor themes that proved significant in some stories, though not communicated by each participant. Major themes emerged as the following concepts: unapproachable topic, experience before being open, experience after sharing, relationships, and safe-spaces. Minor themes emerged as responsibility, reciprocity, accountability, verbal processing, and unsafe spaces. Despite many difficulties surrounding this topic in general, these stories evidenced openness about sexual struggles as both desired and beneficial within the right context. The right context for these conversations entails that of a well-established friendship with already present and follow-up support available.