Margaret Cohen '20

Margaret Cohen, ARS Nova

Major: Social Work
Bio: Margaret Cohen is a senior social work major from St. Paul, MN. Her research interests relate to the intersection between social work and sexual health/education for young people.

Title of Research: The Role of School Social Workers in Sexuality Education for Students with Disabilities through Attitudes and Beliefs
Mentor: Dr. Su-Je Cho
Abstract: This article seeks to review available literature with the goal of understanding the role of social workers in securing sexuality education for students with disabilities through the lens of their attitudes and beliefs. This research is vital to increasing the efficiency of the sexuality education which is necessary in supporting the vulnerable and underserved population of students. The literature review outlined four themes related to the work including: role ambiguity and proscribed roles, institutional barriers, discomfort with the topic, and unsustainable referrals vs. collaboration. Analysis of these themes identify the strengths and barriers that each lend to sexuality education for students with disabilities. Analysis also identifies where and how attitudes and beliefs held by social workers serve students with disabilities or are barriers themselves. These findings help guide future research towards promoting effective collaboration among providers to better serve their students who have a demonstrated need for comprehensive sexuality education.