Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Isawi, Dana T.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


Since the initial call to action nearly half a century ago, sexuality training has not been made a core component of counselor education. Despite this, upon graduation counselors are expected to be able to handle diverse client needs, some of which are likely to be sexual in nature. Nevertheless, there is limited research regarding counselor sexuality education or factors influencing counselor-in-training comfort with sexual discourse. The purpose of this research study was to determine the relationship(s) and interaction(s) between counselor-in-training sexuality training experience, sexual awareness, and comfort with sexual discourse. The study also explored group differences based on gender and sexual identities. In total 79 participants were randomly recruited via cluster sampling and completed an internet-based survey package which included a demographic questionnaire, a sexuality training experience measure, the Sexual Awareness Questionnaire, and a comfort with sexual discourse measure. A bivariate correlation and a hierarchal multiple regression analysis were conducted to analyze the data. The bivariate correlation found significant correlation between sexuality training and sexual awareness, and sexual awareness and comfort with sexual discourse, but not sexuality training and comfort with sexual discourse. The hierarchical multiple regression was significant and found that sexuality training and sexual awareness together account for 4.4% of the variance in counselor-in-training comfort with sexual discourse. Implications of the results for counselor education are discussed. It is imperative that counselor education programs and overseeing organizations recognize the importance of sexuality training and awareness development as core education, as they contribute positively to critical capacities such as comfort with sexual discourse. Future research is recommended to explore other factors that influence comfort with sexual discourse and relate to sexuality training and sexual awareness in counselors-in-training.


172 pages




Northern Illinois University

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